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The Web Poetry Corner - James Bredin - Uncle Eddy

Uncle Eddy


James Bredin

A real horse of a man McTaggart
Called him nineteen hands high
With shoulders like a barn door
Townlands champion, miser and horsedoctor
Focus of all the neighborhood shallow gossip
Uncle Eddy strode Bruchaís rushy acres alone
For eighty years to outlive them all

Unschooled and illiterate
A product of lean times
He bought his first suit
with rabbits snared on the loch shore
He could guide a team of Clydesdales at twelve
At fifteen a man

Rebuffed a sullen parish
Admired his feats from a safe distance
Fearing the hard honesty, the cold stare
As when he mowed all night in the wet meadow
Lifted a trap across his bare shoulders
Broke stallions or drove a heard of bullocks
To the Moy fair alone

Well able for pestering clergy
Friendless and womanless all his life
He christened the great bays, Tom and Ned
Laid out two policemen
At Finiganís republican funeral they marveled

Finally as lawyers and priests came to count his money
And the whole parish waited triumphantly
For his final feat
He chased doctors and priests from his death bed
Wanting only that the workman
Bring the horses to the window so that he could see them

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