Daily Archives: February 7, 2010

Sunday Poem 25

Follower – by Seamus Heaney (1939 -)

My father worked with a horse-plough,
His shoulders globed like a full sail strung
Between the shafts and the furrow.
The horses strained at his clicking tongue.

An expert.  He would set the wing
And fit the bright steel-pointed sock.
The sod rolled over without breaking.
At the headrig, with a single-pluck

Of reins, the sweating team turned round
And back into the land.  His eye
Narrowed and angled at the ground,
Mapping the furrow exactly.

I stumbled in his hob-nailed wake
Fell sometimes on the polished sod;
Sometimes he rode me on his back
Dipping and rising to his plod.

I wanted to grow up and plough,
To close one eye, stiffen my arm,
All I ever did was follow
In his broad shadow round the farm.

I was a nuisance, tripping, falling
Yapping always.  But today
It is my father who keeps stumbling
Behind me, and will not go away.



Filed under Poetry, Literature, Music and Art