Inniskeen Road: July Evening

The bicycles go by in twos and threes –

There’s a dance in Billy Brennan’s barn tonight,

And there’s the half-talk code of mysteries

And the wink-and-elbow language of delight.

Half -past eight and there is not a spot

Upon a mile of road, no shadow thrown

That might turn out a man or a woman, not

A footfall tapping secrecies of stone.

I have what every poet hates in spite

Of all the solemn talk of contemplation.

Oh, Alexander Selkirk knew the plight

Of being king, and government and nation.

A road, a mile of kingdom, I am king

Of banks and stone and every blooming thing.


Patrick Kavanagh, Ploughman and Other Poems, 1936


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