‘An American’s Dream’
© Joe Canning 2016. All Rights Reserved.
“Let me share with you my wonderful dream,
of a place far away called the island of green.
How a coach and fine horses took me o’er the sea,
in a flight to the land of our fathers.
I saw Errigal mountain look down on the fields,
the rushes and heather all rustic and green,
an old cottage home with an old rusting old latch; and
a still water lake where the old folks once washed.
‘Twas all there before me as bright as the day,
where the old men cut turf and the women scythed hay,
where the kids blew the dead head of dandelion weed,
and watched it in flight as it scattered it’s seeds.
I sat by the pond, watching bees, butterflies; saw
snow on the mountains that swept from the sky,
saw scattered old tumbled down shacks everywhere,
felt the ghosts of the banished that still linger there.
I jumped over stone wall and jumped over drain,
saw walls built by paupers, in hail, frost and rain,
I looked down the valley all darkened by cloud,
and heard the loud thunder and lightning crack loud.
I spoke to an old man that travelled by cart,
with two churns of milk on his way to the mart,
and sat there beside him a spouse in her shawl,
with a haggard old face who said nothing at all.
I saw circles of stone and an altar of rock,
where the hunted down priest once attended his flock,
where the sword and the bayonet cut innocents down,
and where bold rapparee would embarrass the Crown.
I saw fiddles, tin whistles and folk dancing reels,
smelt smoke from the chimneys that gently did reek,
and then came the horses and coachman for me,
to whisk me back o’er the wide ocean.
And so ends this tale of this man old and frail,
Of that place of mystique and her mountains and dales,
But tell me my friend, “Was I back to my roots”?
for I cannot explain this soft earth ‘neath my boots.
Photo: Mount Errigal, Co Donegal