Glimpsed from the car
cowering in the kerb
that emerald and cornelian face,
its majesty hampered
by a snood of grimy snow.
One haughty eye trying
to outstare its predicament.
When it was clear
you couldn’t live much longer
we set out together to try
to find Lough Mora again.
Still not where it should have been.
The forestry tracks turned
and tangled round themselves,
until we had to make a guess
that it was behind that ridge
under Knockaffrin’s raw flank.
We left the track, worked our way
over cut stumps, rocks, holes,
tussocks, rush, bog, streams.
Fought through a stunted fir plantation.
Shared that good feeling of not
knowing where we were going.
Over the ridge, there it was.
Quite small, a neatly folded blanket
at the mountain’s foot, guarded
by two huge boulders, on which
grew moss and the small soft ears
of St. Patrick’s Cabbage.
The water, peat-stained, very clear,
hung still as silence over its bed
of rounded, overlapping stones.
You stripped and waded straight in
and began to swim away.
Can I come with you?
Not this time, no.