Irish Writing: Arthur Broomfield

"The night Bannan’s Threshing Mill arrived  in our yard"

(In memory of Johnny Bannan who died May 11 2011)

Johnny Bannan won my respect
the day he declined to wash his hands
‘they’re grand Ma’am, thanks’;
he spoke with  the assurance
of one who knows his options.
My mother fussed
and poured his tea.

His overalls, decorated
with medals of exotic grease
sparkled in the reflection
of the Aladdin lamp
that lit our kitchen.
Amorphous transfers
to his face and neck,
from his oily fingers,
confirmed the mystical status
of the Lieutenant  of the Leviathan.

I imagined his railwayman’s cap
badged and braided,
the armour plated engine storming along the front,
he leaning out the side door
barking glad tidings
of bushel weight
to expectant farmers,
at agricultural speed.

I, held back on my father’s knee,
wanted to be second in command
in his benevolent army,
to be there when he swung
the starting handle that fired the pistons,
to carry the drums of T.V.O.
that smelled of the future,
to befriend him,
to give him a hand.

Bio: Dr Arthur Broomfield

Dr Arthur Broomfield is a poet, novelist, short story writer and Beckett scholar from County Laois, Ireland. His published works include When the Dust Settles  (International University Press 1993),  Language and Philosophy in the works of Samuel Beckett (Cambridge Scholars' Publishing 2014) Mice at the Threshing (Lapwing 2015) and Cold Coffee at Emo Court (Revival Press 2016)

Irish Writing :: Table of Contents, May 2017