By Ellen Davis


I thought I could just go back, 

Turn off the motorway and drive

Into the village. It all seemed 

Smaller than I remembered. 

The road up to the old house 

Is nothing but a laneway. 

It no longer stands alone

Book-ended now by  

Two new bungalows. 

There was no one around 

All moved on to more

Prosperous times. 


On the hill the old ruin still

Keeps watch over the comings 

And goings, like a weary sentinel. 

The gate locked and the stile 

Too steep for me now. 

I used to skip over that 

Holding your outstretched hand 

As you hoped to catch 

The unspoken promise of a kiss. 

Lost Magic, what had been 

A fairy link to centuries past 

was now just cold stone on stone. 


I looked you up, and

When I found the place 

I thought of seeking you out 

Of your comfort. 

Dragging you back 

to those teenage years. 

Back to the innocence 

Of it all, the make-believe. 


I left you where you were 

With your memories of me 

As a wild thing landed 

From city life. Why replace them 

With ones tainted with age spots 

And Infirmity, why spoil those 

Halcyon days with stark reality?



London born and Co. Offaly based Ellen Davis has been writing poetry since she was 10 years old. Over the years her poems have appeared in several publications such as The Salmon, Riverine, and Cyphers. Her work has also featured on RTÉ Radio when John F Deane read one of her poems on air. In 1985 her poem "For a minute of a second" won the Ballyfermot Poetry Competition and the prize - a carriage clock still ticks away proudly on her mantelpiece.