Tobacco Harvest, North Carolina – Gill McEvoy

Tobacco Harvest, North Carolina

All afternoon we laboured bunching leaves.
Black ooze glued our fingers to our thighs
each time we wiped our hands off on our jeans.

‘Tobacco cu’in’ sheds’, the foreman flung
the barn-doors open to a brimstone stink
of bunches hung in twos, like pairs of lungs.

The bright greens slowly grieve their way to rust.
‘Killin’ sheds’ I muttered to myself,
examining my hands – thick tar and dust.

 

Gill McEvoy has  2 full collections from Cinnamon Press: ‘Rise’, 2013, and ‘The Plucking Shed’, 2010; 3 pamphlets from Happenstance Press: ‘Uncertain Days’, 2006, ‘A Sampler’, 2008, and ‘The First Telling’ 2014. -This latter won the Michael Marks Award 2015. Gill was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2012.

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In Red and White – Gill McEvoy

In Red and White 
 
You could helter-skelter down their columns on a rug or tray,
pretend they’re giant sticks of rock in red and white –

slice thought their middles and you’d surely find
the names of places where they stand:
Strumble, Needles, Bardsey, Portland Bill.

In the wind you’d hear the thin bewildered sighs
of long-forgotten keepers drifting round
the eerie robot systems that transmit the beams;

men amazed that no-one has to trim or light the lamps.

 

Previously published in Agenda, Vol 50, Nos 1-2.

Gill McEvoy has  2 full collections from Cinnamon Press: ‘Rise’, 2013, and ‘The Plucking Shed’, 2010; 3 pamphlets from Happenstance Press: ‘Uncertain Days’, 2006, ‘A Sampler’, 2008, and ‘The First Telling’ 2014. -This latter won the Michael Marks Award 2015. Gill was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2012.