2nd November 2020

My thoughts turn to my grandmother on this Feast of All Souls. 

So, a little poem:


Warmth


What makes me feel warm inside?

I think of my grandmother.

It’s the days leading up to Christmas.

She sits in front of the range – for warmth

She picks up a turf sod lying in the basket,

To feed the oven,

Her hands hardened by farm work, by family life,

I help her, pick up my own lump of turf

Turf that Uncle Timmy dug from the bog,

 the previous autumn

It Feels hairy to the touch, rough against my fingers,

not like the regular, smooth edges

of factory brickets,

We take turns, my nan and I, to place a sod in the fire

without words we feed our story, make it rich.

Flames give a glow to her – already pink cheeks.

When the roar reminds us “enough for now”,

She sits back, smiles, and for while,

retells old tales of family long ago,

 linking the threads,

 lost in the mist of shared Ancestors

I wipe my eyes, reach for another sod,

And know who I am.