In the Garden

In the Garden

In memory of my father

While I was shawling the strawberries
with fine green netting, you told me
about the cow that swam to the island
to stand there mooing until the seals
came in close to add their own belling,
with the seagulls circling above, kao-
kaoing - and after you'd stared enough
you ran to the farmer, who didn't believe
until he saw for himself, then asked
if you'd row him out there, to ferry
the creature home, and you wouldn't,
saying it was too heavy, would sink
the boat, or at least would kick out,
sending all three of you overboard -
no, the Narin lifeboat had to be called
to bring the cow back to a cheering crowd.
I stood there visualising the whole film
as you spaded the bright new potatoes.

'In the Garden' unpublished poem, © Matthew Sweeney 2010, used by permission of the author.

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3Last Supper

4A Round House

5Imagined Arrival

6The Servant

7The Ideal Home

8A Crow's Cremation


10Divers at the Laurentic

11A Couple Waiting

12The Shadow Home

13Pink Milk

14Her Song



17The Desert


19Donkey Hoof

20The House


22The Hat

23The Compromise

24An End

25The Butcher


27A Smell of Fish


29The Summons


31The UFO

32In the Dust


34The Sweatmark

35The Snowy Owl

36The Hunger Artist at Home

37The Snake


39Black Moon

40In the Garden

41The Glass Chess Set

42The Blue Hammock

43Fish and Chips

Books by Matthew Sweeney