Tuesday, 14 January 2014
Listen to the praties
Sitting in his lumpy old chair
In the cave like corner by the warming fire,
Granddad finished chewing the last of his soda bread
And with a slightly shaky hand
He slowly reached over
And placed his crumb laden plate
On the corner of the range
Next to his empty, tea stained cup.
He fished out his hair oiled trilby
From the top of the fragrant peat basket
And pushed it down firmly on his head
Moving it back and forth
Until finally it moulded itself to his contours.
Pressing his mottled hands
On the shiny knees of his ancient black trousers
He pushed up, leveraging himself to his feet.
"I'll fetch the praties," he announced
To everyone and no one.
He crossed the stone flagged floor to the dresser
Picked up the huge holey white colander
Scratched by use,
And crossed to the door.
As the latch clicked open
His old black dog rose on his arthritic legs and followed
And right behind him, me.
On my best behaviour.
This solemn trio
Duck like, walked the garden path
Greasy with rain,
To the leaning shed.
Here Granddad chose
From the aging, rusty tools lying on the donkey cart,
The praty spade.
Still silent, we turned.
Took the three stone steps
Brushing aside the purple/red fuschia droplets
As precious as jewels,
And crossed the gravel track
To our Eden.
We pushed through the wee wooden gate
And I sat my little city bottom
On St Patrick's summer soil,
Oblivious to the cold
And watched with marvelling eyes,
A personal country miracle.
The digging of the praties.
A work in progress to share with dverse open link night.
Praties are potatoes. Not sure if it is a family word or country Irish.