By BERNARD O'DONOGHUE
One morning in the hot summer of ‘59
We watched through binoculars a black cloud
Of smoke on the skyline. Someone suggested
It must be furze being burned on the banks
Of the railway-line. But word spread
That it was Bill Casey’s barn, new-packed
With this year’s hay. We all went to see it,
And smelled the dead smell of burning.
Casey kicked ruefully at the iron staple
In the wall which the dog had been chained to.
All the farmers in the parish rallied round;
The next Sunday a long cortege of horse-floats
Made their slow way along the dusty road
To Ardnageeha to repair the loss.
But what good was that? The barn’s dark pillars
Did not lighten, and when you closed your eyes
What you saw was the invisible
Last hours of the desperate, leaping dog.