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Lucan Village, I heard him say.
Sure that’s full of tractors, rednecks and hay.
Uncle Sean said he would visit when the weather
was good to see how we’re doing in our new neighbourhood.
Auntie Phyllis would visit with Susie
and Annie in tow
With bags full of empty jars
Off to the fields to pick blackberries they’d go.
Green fields, trees and rivers all over this place.
The unlocked doors, the friendly face,
The fresh country air on a warm summer’s day -
Strong enough to take your breath away.
The Boys National School is where I would be
It would be safe to say Mr. Noonan was glad to see the back of me.
At lunch time we would duck behind the big wall
to see Jimmy Bennett trying to catch a salmon for his tea.
At the top of the Jet Hill I could sit all day
and watch my fields of gold so far away.
On Saturdays it was down tot he Village we’d go.
We would walk for about a mile or so.
First stop the old Post Office, then off to the Co-Op to see Joe.
hen down to Paddy Monaghans
where I would stand and stare
and wonder how I was going to get into
that big bloody chair.
On a Sunday it was off to the cinema
For the show,
No UCI or VUE back then -
We called it The Grove.
Aaron Burchael and Flano in the Hollow on a Sunday,
Down to O’Neills to watch Pat Silke
Or No Work for the Hangman play,
Then down to the Eastend for a takeaway.
New Year’s Eve we would head to our Square
To join hands and dance in circles
with the friends we hold dear.
We would sing and dance and laugh
And ring in the New Year and
remember our friends no longer here.
As I look back on those days of old
My walk to school, my fields of gold.
I remember listening to my mother play
Joe Dolan’s “Tar and Cement”
On a warm summer’s day.
Like a black and white photo
The grass is now grey
The Tar and Cement has taken it all away.
Like the unlocked door, and green, green grass,
The Hollow, The Grove – all in the past!
Many years would pass before
I’d find out what that song meant
As I stand at the top of the Jet Hill
To look at the Tar and Cement.
By Pat. M.