By Sheryl Clough
—inspired by a WWII spotter's cabin at Banba's Crown, Malin Head, County Donegal
The North Atlantic chops at the green shore
with white-edged knife blades. On the grass
far below, remains of chalk spell 'EIRE', marks
left by a hopeful people in that time of bombs.
On this wind strewn cliff still stands a concrete
spotter's hut. Inside the soot-black walls, small
traces remain of those who watched, huddled by night
around a feeble fire, longing for home, steamed
brown bread, flannel sheets. What thoughts chased
them, as engine roars graced the storm clouds?
Imagine a youth in a leather jacket, holding hands
clapped over his ears. So lately he held hands
with a hometown girl, their whispers stretching
long into the night. What plans they made! And
then the War, rending the gossamer dream fabric
as shrapnel rends flesh. He protects his ears, for
what else is under his control, pierced as he is
by shrieking propellers, by fear, by the ultimate
knowledge that only Providence can keep him alive,
suspended above the chalk, below the dark.
This poem first appeared in the anthology Embers and Flames (Outrider Press, 2015).
Categories: Featured Poems from Our Subscribers