After the Rain


I’ve scrubbed the wooden table
and laid out her best green plates for you.
Soon we’ll taste the tomato-red pasta,
the bread dipped into olive oil, balsamic vinegar:
the clear and dark together.

But now, in the hour before dinner,
we take our wine into the garden
of my childhood, where everything is glistening
after a shower, the kind
that comes on suddenly in this county.

Sunset diffuses vague light
over the familiar hills and dull bogland,
into raindrops rolled like glass beads
on soft lamb’s-ears by the parsley. In a minute
I’ll cut some basil for us, bending to the wet,

fresh leaves in the herb garden bordered
by little flagstone paths. In its centre
grows my namesake, a yellow rose
that my mother planted when I turned fifteen.
It still blooms every summer:

one useless, beautiful thing among
the practical, the nourishing
that will come to our kitchen, to our plates.

Listen to this poem:

After the Rain by Roisin Kelly

Photo Yellow Rose by Andy McLemore used under Creative Commons License (BY-SA-2.0)


About Author

Roisin Kelly is an Irish poet who was born in Belfast and raised in Leitrim. After a year as a handweaver on a remote island in Mayo and a Masters in Writing at National University of Ireland, Galway, she now calls Cork City home. Her poetry has appeared in POETRY, Blunderbuss, The Dark Horse, The Baltimore Review, the Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology 2014, and Best New British and Irish Poets 2016 (Eyewear 2016).

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