Kathy Gardiner

Kathy Gardiner studied English Lit for the Reading Lists, but managed to escape unscathed to the world of language teaching. From Galway, she currently lives in Roscommon where she teaches literacy to adults from Syria.






We were colonisers,
Squinting into the sun,
Scanning for likely territory;
The best spots
Meadowed ridges,
Fertile daisylands,
Hoof-pocked hillocks.
We chewed our cud
Just after sunrise
All early-risen
To the business of the day.

When still new to the trade
We thought to spread our blankets
Under cherry blossoms
And tilt our noses to catch petals.
We saw ourselves decked,
Showered in pink.
But last year’s petals
Made mulch of the earth
And the shade
Blew sudden about our ears.

So now
We spot a high crest in the corner of the far field,
Quite a ways from home.
So we load up.
Our water, fruit and rations
And a rolled blanket under an arm;
Least favourite of the sitting room cushions,
Reading material,
A little radio;
Nothing that could be missed.

The settlement forms quickly.
A wide-flung blanket
Crushes the long grass
We rolling pins flatten it out

The cows didn’t know what to make of it all
Looking over the piled stone wall.
But we knew
In those days.

The blanket itched;
The sky was cloudless blue;
We held our feet to the sun,
Laughing on our backs,
Warming our tummies;
Content as kittens
Content as only we could be
on a summer’s day,
Knowing exactly how to spend it.

© 2018 Kathy Gardiner