Waiting In Meath, Ireland 1916


“And evening found her thus…”

                       Francis Ledwidge

The wind blows on a rusty

harmonica of hinges.

The music of rasp and moan

as the gate hangs open

lamenting the loss of summer,

waiting for someone to return.

In his absence, the garden

has grown wild from neglect.

His wife hasn’t pruned the roses

or pulled weeds near the fence

which has left a border of ragged lace

like the hemline of her gown

as she walks the field at dusk.

Its stitching drags along the ground

where some of the soil loosens

sliding into a ditch. She cries thinking

of that trench — trembling with lamplight

and a soldier who writes on a piece

of butcher paper. The script dark

and scattered. Desperate. His black birds

pecking at the crust of a letter.


This weekend, we honor the end of WWI. One of the poets from that era was Irish writer, Francis Ledwidge.  He wrote not only of war but also of nature, often blackbirds appeared in his poems. Thus, he became known as “The Blackbird Poet”. This poem imagines a woman who loved him,  waiting for his return from the front.

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