Thursday 19 October 2023

The Butter Road


I'd say the road hasn't changed much two centuries on, 

still moss-stoned underfoot, the ponies hooves must have sank 

in the ruts as we do now, booted and sandal shod as we are; I did warn

about the terrain but he's fond of the pilgrim way, though this

is no spiritual path, for here men slogged it out a week long  

from Mizen head to Skibbereen to the Cork Butter Exchange, 

 two firkins of salted butter, fifty-six pounds apiece, hay-roped 

on the ponies' backs, bound for Spain and the West Indies and beyond 

while we jostle a day trip backpack between us; water, chocolate, snacks, 

stop to frame straggling fuchsia, russeting fern, a cottage ivy and bramble 

bound, and the nearby so-called "idle bridge," a famine relief work folly,

 leading nowhere, shouldering failed hopes and bones, 

and listen to the same birds, the long tailed tit flitting from limb 

to limb, the rook setting up an almighty din as we, in passing, disturb 

those best left to rest in peace.

Copyright 2023 Cathy Leonard All rights reserved

1 comment:

  1. I never thought about the butter market! Wonderful!