Night Came to Reamore Part 1

b284be07-725e-4304-a6fa-55bd674b57a0moss moore

Night came to Reamore in November of 58

followed by Gardai, reporters and uniformed officers in galoshes.

They were searching the bogs for a missing man.

A cap was found at a stream bottom, a broken staff,

a flashlamp buried in a turnip field.

All through the mud of those relentless days

of winter weather they combed the countryside

leaving no stone unturned

When it finally dried out,

Moss Moore’s body was found strewn in a ravine,

face down in sodden clothing,

it was a tragic scene

for a gallery of onlookers

who had gathered along the edges

as investigators flashed their cameras,

you could see on their faces

a look of wonder mixed with horror

as one of their own was plucked like turf from the land.

By nightfall the rumor mill was running through Reamore,

a rural and isolated corner of County Kerry

that will be forever associated with this murder

and steeped in its infamy.

Every ravine is carved by its own history.

In every field there’s the story behind the story.

In the quiet bogs where neighbors cut peat for each other,

sometimes blood trickles amid the brooks that separate land.

Among those elements, both natural and man made, that divide people,

there is something primitive in upholding these boundaries of land.

In these layered hills of stove smoke and misty light,

sweat and pride is enclosed by stone walls

and tied like wire to the divider lines,

something men claim as their own

driven like a stake,

their own bones

running deep into the muddy ground.

It may seem nondescript,

this particularly narrow strip of preserve

but contained in it was a powerful urge,

the capacity to take another man’s life.

They say Dan Foley killed Moss Moore

that winter’s night in Reamore.

He had always maintained his innocence,

despite the obvious signs of struggle

scratched into his face,

one thing’s for sure, whoever killed Moss Moore

did so with his bare hands.

Judgement passed the lips of the locals,

demanding Foley to stand guilty,

despite the fact that they were neighbors and friends.

The men couldn’t have been more different,

Moss was small and wiry with sharp and pointed features,

a solitary man who lived alone with his two dogs.

Foley was a family man, large in stature,

square jawed with serious eyes under a flat cap.

Their dispute over land was well known in that farming community.

Their homes were divided by a ditch,

the first tragic stitch

that was lain in the absence of a divider wall

that was meant to be built but never was.

Instead, Moore constructed a makeshift fence

to keep Foley’s cows from drifting in and out,

the intention of any temporary boundary

but this one only welcomed in distrust and doubt.

Disagreement over a half-acre strip of land created a rift

and a tension arose between the men like a mist

swirling in rumor, whatever happened that night

would leave no witness.

Murder sometimes leaves a mark in the isolated dark

but few can see it,

one man’s final breath

can be squeezed from him forcefully

but not everyone can pick up the echoes

of his death throes in the rural quiet.

To be continued…

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2 thoughts on “Night Came to Reamore Part 1

  1. Not to trivialize the depth of this poem, but it’s a great ghost story, too. Back to my real impressions: you have taken a story repeated in County Kerry, Boston, everywhere, but isolated it, brought it under a magnifying glass. Personalized allegory. Who are these people? Terrific, Dom.

  2. domtakis says:

    Thanks Marjorie! I love your interpretation. If it is read as a ghost story, I would never say that trivializes it, in fact quite the opposite, especially during this Halloween season! Appreciate the visit!

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