Autumn Love

(i.m. Deirdre Corcoran)

As though life
was some sort of rind,
death the fruit, people said
I would find you
in the raw mists, the sloe dew.

Autumn was in your hair,
all right, your nipples,
rose-hip red, smoke
from the foggy brush-pyres
your incense everywhere.

But you loved life more
than your young life
could bear. So when, each year,
the hawthorn mushrooms –
the tumour that closed you in –

I remember how the blackthorn
went batty with blossom
the year you died, feigning virility
and your freckled skin’s
veined palor,

and how you squinted through
the last window of light
in the hedges,
with that slight glint in your eye
your glasses magnified.

© Brian Mooney.

Autumn Love” appeared in the 11 November 2011 and 23 October 2015 editions of the Clare Champion.
It is included in Brian Mooney’s collection Image and Likeness published in 2012.

Photograph of Brian Mooney