Leaving the land

Before I left I scratched and scuffed
my hands on clay and sand and stone.
Rubbed living soil into my lifeline.

Ground grains into the unique lines
of finger prints and knuckle joints.

The soil and soul that holds it all.
The grass that grows the milled corn,
the suns heat and the blessed rain.

I rubbed it deep below my hairline and on my brow.
This living soil that sustained my line.
The history deep beneath my finger nails
in microscopic chips and grains.

Bleeding down through generations beyond count
of men who marched before the horse and plough.

I washed my face with it and bathe it in my tears.
Breathe in the years of living and dying there.

I felt its weight and judged it heft.
I still found it wanting and so I left.

© Dave Kavanagh 2016
I spent the first twenty two years of my life working a farm that belonged to my fathers family for generations. I loved the life, trained for it and was good at it but I could not make a living from it because of the encumbrances upon my tenure. I had to work a one man farm and somehow support three families from it, so I left to seek my fortune elsewhere. I can still hear it calling me back even now when it is gone, disbursed.
Land, the modern curse of the Irish.

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