Kevin McManus is a poet-writer from Leitrim. He has published six novels, a collection of short stories, and two books of poetry.
His latest poetry book called “The Hawthorn Tree” is published by Lapwing Publications, Belfast.

A cold wind from the lake

A raw January day,
the bitter wind coming up
from the lake would skin you.

Hands were red and torn,
cut from briar and blackthorn.

Daylight was in short supply,
as their breath hung in the
cold midwinter air.

Cursing the clock,
time to get it done,
tying the wet pallet to the post,
bridging the gap,
knotting the short, blue rope
with clumsy, stubby fingers.

As the sharp, sleety rains came down,
the watery sun was swallowed
by the woods on Johnson’s Hill.