A Contemplation of Thatching

Fred Johnston
The men who thatch this roof will disappear without uttering a word, they'll not be there when social historians meet to draw us all down into solid indifference of lectures
Too late then to ask what was the Irish word for this, the work-phrase for that, or why the insides of those thatched houses were
so stubbornly, damnably dry in all weathers
Why under the sun the new thatch h0!l0urs the sun like a mirror, so you look at It shading your eyes: as it darkens under rain, a natural barometer of sorts, rude and sure
Or why they stand, thatched roofs, as words themselves that generations read to mean beginnings and conclusions, wor.ds ~hich house a history of landscaped pnvacles
Under the neon lights the lecturers quibble about struts and stresses and geometric
things: when all you needed was to have . good neighbours, and trust them to do the Job.
Page 104, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 28