The sound of burning whin stumps
Cracked like gun shots in the darkening room
The dog rested its head across Granda’s feet
Its paws twitching with muffled barks
The smell of cow dung
Mixed with trickles of smoke
It hung in the warm air an invisible mist.
A moth flicking its wings off the bare bulb
Throbbing with the generator’s heartbeat.
A sharp screech from a fox echoed across
The mountain. Granny stood with a delft cup
She turned it around until it squeaked
The dog dragged itself to its feet
Its nails tapping across the lino covered floor
Granda gets up, throws his cap on the floor
Granny kneels on cold tiles
With her fingers pressed tightly against her lips
Her elbows propped up on a hard-wooden stool
Hidden beneath her matted silver curls
Was a beauty that at one time was talked about.
Their words flow about me like angels
Pull me down to a comfortable familiar rest
Like a heavy brown stone,
On the bed of a warm mountain stream.
⏩ Frankie Quinn is a former republican prisoner who is now a community activist. He is the author of Open Gates, a book of poetry.