This year’s dark evening saw the preparation;
the raisins, sultanas, orange and lemon peel,
the grated rinds, the spoonful of whiskey,
the can of Guinness, to add cherries or not?
And then reminiscing, calling the old spirits back,
how her mother would have hers bubbling away,
how hers always turned out perfectly,
how she could always seem to make something
from the nothing they had, with many to feed.
I recall late autumn days in the wooden shed by our house,
my brother and I watching the steam from the hob there.
I think of Dad knotting the bowls for those creations
with blue twine that had been saved from bales of straw.
We knew that they were Christmas puddings
and we were caught in the magical slant of time between
Hallowe’en and Yule, babes in the wood
where the shadows gathered, puppets on strings
dancing with the flickering flames.
Orla Fay is editor of Boyne Berries. Recently her poetry has appeared in The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review, ROPES 2019, Impossible Archetype, The Bangor Literary Journal, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Tales from the Forest, Quarryman and FourXFour. This year she was shortlisted for The Cúirt New Writing Prize. She won 3rd prize in The Oliver Goldsmith Poetry Award 2019. Her shorty story Foxy was published on the incubator selects in April. She is working towards a first collection of poetry. She blogs at http://orlafay.blogspot.com/ Twitter @FayOrla