Mossbawn Sunlight

There was a sunlit absence.
The helmeted pump in the yard
heated its iron,
water honeyed

in the slung bucket
and the sun stood
like a griddle cooling
against the wall

of each long afternoon.
So, her hands scuffled
over the bakeboard,
the reddening stove

sent its plaque of heat
against her where she stood
in a floury apron
by the window.

Now she dusts the board
with a goose's wing,
now sits, broad-lapped,
with whitened nails

and measling shins:
here is a space
again, the scone rising
to the tick of two clocks.

And here is love
like a tinsmith's scoop
sunk past its gleam
in the meal-bin.


from North (Faber, 1975), copyright © Seamus Heaney 1975, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Where next?

Sponsor this poem

Would you like to sponsor this poem? Find out how here.

Recordings

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney Downloads

1Death of a Naturalist

£0.89

2Blackberry Picking

£0.89

3Mid-term Break

£0.89

4The Peninsula

£0.89

5Bogland

£0.89

6Anahorish

£0.89

7Broagh

£0.89

8The Tollund Man

£0.89

9Mossbawn Sunlight

£0.89

10The Grauballe Man

£0.89

11Exposure

£0.89

12Oysters

£0.89

13Casualty

£0.89

14Glanmore Sonnets: Dogger, Rockall, Malin...

£0.89

15The Harvest Bow

£0.89

16The Underground

£0.89

17A Kite for Michael and Christopher

£0.89

18The Railway Children

£0.89

19Station Island, section 7

£0.89

20The Haw Lantern

£0.89

21Clearances: sonnets 2, 3, 5, 8

£0.89

22Fosterling

£0.89

23Squarings: section 8

£0.89

24Seeing Things

£0.89

25The Skylight

£0.89

26Two Lorries

£0.89

27St Kevin and the Blackbird

£0.89

28A Call

£0.89

29Postscript

£0.89

30Perch

£0.89

31Bann Valley Eclogue

£0.89

32Electric Light

£0.89

33The Blackbird of Glanmore

£0.89

Books by Seamus Heaney