Ballyfermot (Ballyer)

oak tree in sunshine I was born and reared in Ballyfermot and have many memories of my time there. Mostly happy times,rarely sad. I lived here for twenty four years until I got married. My Mam still lives in the same house. This is a poem I wrote in memory of my youth and of my Da, who died when I was twenty. Da was a train driver. The railway line was across the back fields ( the backers) from our house. Coming from Cork, Limerick or wherever he travelled, he would always beep the horn to let us know he was on the way home. I cannot hear the sound of a train blasting it’s horn without thinking of Da.



Up the Backers

In dreams I climb the old oak tree

At the bottom of our garden,

Towering high above the house

Beyond, green fields as far as the railway line

The Backers; playground of my youth

I look out for the black and orange train

Listen for the horn that tells us Da is coming home

Cows graze until sunset,

When they are ushered by the farmer and his dogs

To the cowsheds behind the old farm house down the lane

Each morning after breakfast, we’d climb the tree

Jump down into the ditch and scramble up the other side.

Pick cowslips, daisies and buttercups in May for Our Lady

Arrange the bunches of yellow and white in jam jars for the altar

On the landing, at the top of the stairs

Gather wild roses in June, to place in a jug on the kitchen table for Mammy

In September, blackberries in the galvanised bucket, that

Da kept in the garden shed to fill with potatoes from his vegetable patch;

Balls of flour, smothered with butter and a lump of streaky bacon

Faces covered in purple juice Hands, criss crossed with cuts from thorny bushes

We’d carry home the plump berries For Mammy to make tarts and jam

On cold December days we gathered holly and ivy

To place above the pictures on the walls

Or mix with acorns from the old oak tree

To decorate the mantelpiece

In dreams I run through the long grass

Gather wild flowers up the backers

Play ’til the cows come home

Then climb the old oak tree that is no longer there

I watch out for the black and orange train

Listen for the horn to sound

I wake up in the darkness and remember

Da is never coming home again.

CIE train





About trishnugentwriter

A wife and mother of four who writes and acts as much as she can in between the housework and shopping. I have been published in 'Irelands Own' 'Intallaght' and 'Tallaght Echo'. I have won prizes for poetry including 1st place in The Bealtaine Writing comp in 2012.I'm a member of drama group in 'An Cosan' in Tallaght and also 'Platform One' Writers group in Rua Red.
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4 Responses to Ballyfermot (Ballyer)

  1. Aarthi says:

    Trish, I have only known you (through your blog) for a day. But those words spoke right to my heart, this post left me with moist eyes. Poignant, yet beautiful.

  2. janine says:

    ah ye have me off crying again #urno.1fan

  3. Thanks for all your kind comments…I’d better get writing some fun poems . Can’t have ye all dripping tears on my blog everyday 😦

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