Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
  2. Poetry
4 November 2020

The NS Poem: Mist on the Curragh

A new poem by Steven O'Brien. 

By Steven O’Brien

My grandfather as a boy
Combed his hair to be good
And tidy
For his mother’s burial.

Mirror above the hearth,
Dim as a bog pool.
His reflection moved under the smoky glass
But over his shoulder, much deeper within
His mother walked down the stairs behind him,
Formal and pale
And went out silently
Into the mist on the Curragh.

A story repeated surely as Sunday tea
With the clock ticking at his back,
To my sister, my brother and me
Sitting along the sofa.

Each time grey eyes shifting between ours,
The same troubled look,
And his open mouth
Asking us to go with him, that long ago morning
On the gravel path towards the grave –

To see what he had seen
But scarcely could believe himself.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Steven O’Brien is the editor of the London Magazine. His poetry collections include Scrying Stone (Greenwich Exchange) and Dark Hill Dreams (Inpress Books).

Content from our partners
<strong>What you need to know about private markets </strong>
Work isn't working: how to boost the nation's health and happiness
The dementia crisis: a call for action

This article appears in the 04 Nov 2020 issue of the New Statesman, American chaos