Tramping the bog with the heather out and clouds
like white mushrooms bunching where the sky
leaned gently on the shoulder of the land;
he wanted to take the whole thing home
so they could look at it through the window
on days when the silence of fight lay
on them like a cold slab no one could lift.
Above him the clouds were too high to touch
but at the skyline they were lower and he ran
afraid his arm would never reach them
or that the wind might bundle them off.
But when he got to where the sky began
the clouds were still beyond his reach.
His grandfather had said clouds were light as air
and if he caught one and brought it home
they might hook it to the gate and never
have to walk to the stream again. He had
to go home without the cloud and its loss
weighed him so he found it hard to make
his way but soon he heard on the mountain road
the lowing cows being driven home to milking.
He began to run but his wellies slowed him
and when he got home his aunt had a good mind
to send him to bed without his tea when
he told her the nonsense he had been at.