The Coming Cold

Roisin’s Telling 1

The time now is The Coming Cold.

The sun will lower again tomorrow 

and again tomorrow and the next.

Life up in the mountain croft is restless, I can feel it.


The paths down will soon be black and

the cows will must lead the way down.

The lads will follow them down to the pens,

No work needed as the dumb animals will slowly 

follow each other down, 

Save for the dumbest of all who will wander off 

and be found by a boy and brought on back.


Food and warmth for the Winter

for the cattle and the lads.

I am stuck here by the fire

in a house of burning peat.

Watching with wonder, again and again,

as the women prepare loaves and fish

for the Welcome home meal.


My spine is twisted as a spindle 

My hands the claws of an old hungry crow.

Only my brain is sharp

and my eyes as a young girl’s.

I see the young girls twirling their hair, kneading the dough, spinning for cloth, 

longing for their lads as the lads long for them.


I can hear the loud murmurs of the women within,

and I begin to hear the lowing of cows from a distance.

About alicebarrett

Small town writer
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