We spend our summers in a house once owned
By a couple who never spoke a word
To each other. And we have wondered if,
Mixed in with the rough plaster on the walls,
Some bitter trace still lingers. But in their day
There was no window on to the southern hills,
No singing from the music system, and no-one
Calling from upstairs for a weather forecast
That will tell us if it’s fine enough for the sea.
BERNARD O’DONOGHUE has published six collections of poetry, including Gunpowder, winner of the 1995 Whitbread Prize for Poetry, and The Seasons of Cullen Church (2016) which was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot prize. His Selected Poems was published by Faber in 2008. He has published a verse translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Penguin Classics 2006), and is currently translating Piers Plowman for Faber.
image: Sean Murphy, Untitled, 1935