When night came to Reamore the crickets were out.
The scared and trembling trees
crowded in on a pitch black lane
and if there was a moon
it would break through the gloom
and throw reflections
on the surface of a brook rambling through.
How many steps mingled with the tapping of a staff
on that particular night?
In the weeks leading up to his death,
Moss Moore felt as if he was being watched,
over pints and cards he was known to say to friends;
“He’ll be up there waiting for me”
assuming he meant Foley,
“One of these nights at the crossroads there will be a reckoning”
So, when he would stagger home well after dark,
it was always with a protective stick and a flash lamp
whose searching light would cast a furtive glance
at every meandering shadow,
for every twitch and drop of rain became trailing footsteps.
The last night he was seen alive
leaving Mrs Collins’
with the scent of the hearth stamped into his cloak,
he could be heard tapping his staff like a blind man
and with a lantern that bore into the night thick with fog
and into eternity beyond the bog
that receives our darkest runoff,
Moss would soon decay into his own destiny,
a light growing dim and further away.
Foley was presumed guilty of the deed
but no law could punish him.
The rain came, agent of mystery,
destroying any shred of evidence left.
Still, the town’s eyes rested on him alone,
whether fairly or not, he would bear the blame
and become outcast in his own home.
A final four years that would be met with silence and boycott,
amplified in that tiny village, he tried to remain with dignity
but the strain of being a pariah
would leave his body to desire release,
to ultimately give in to the strain
before he also was laid to rest,
death came by way of heart failure
No more today has been explained
about what happened in Reamore 60 years prior.
Conspiracies abound and Foley’s descendants
maintain his innocence, claiming a convenient scapegoat
for those who wanted Moss Moore out of the way.
Not much of it is said these days,
all that remains
is the scent at night on those darkened lanes.
The evil that had settled into that isolated corner
has grown dormant
and of Moss Moore and Dan Foley
there’s only brick and mortar in ruin
marking their former dwelling,
the source of rumor over one man’s felling,
for those old enough to remember
and re-assemble in their minds
the sinking sun
and the shadow on the lines of this tale,
there’s the shell of an infinite sadness,
a gable and a windowless desolation
that knows only a cold wind.
Rain still falls on these fields
and rushes through the ravines,
time passes and closure grows further away
as the last of those living at the time
recede into memory
like the last gasp of enmity a land can possess.
It seems to proclaim, that if anyone knows anything
they are taking it to their graves.