Where you went, poems by Geraldine Mills
Geraldine Mills has published three collections of short stories and four collections of poetry. She has been awarded many prizes and bursaries including the Hennessy/Tribune New Irish Writer Award, two Arts Council Bursaries and a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship. Her first children’s novel titled Gold has just been released and is available at www.littleisland.ie/shop/gold/ www.kennys.ie/gold-2179.html www.geraldinemills.com
Head Burden at the Museum of Country Life
When honest-to-God hay was saved,
roped, plaited and whorled,
and in turn circled again
to coil the crown of her head
this was the load that wreath held:
potatoes she’d dug from the ridge,
water she’d drawn from the well,
shirts she had dried on bright gorse,
duck eggs in the nest of her hair.
The balancing to keep it all up:
the roof that needed new slates,
the child who needed a coat,
the wolf to be stopped at the door
so the man of the house might be saved.
Where you Went
You told me that where you were going
was the farthest point on earth from home.
Rucksack packed, the final photograph
of mother and son.
Your body young and full of risk,
you stood looking beyond the lens before
you headed into earthquakes, tsunamis
that shifted land masses four centimetres.
Whether that was closer to home
or farther away from me I never learnt.
© Geraldine Mills