(Sion Mills, County Tyrone)
There’s a place in my heart from old Tyrone,
Indelibly held in memory sown.
The spinning frames stood upon the floor,
From wall to wall inside the door;
Each cared for by a maiden fair,
With shoeless feet and plaited hair.
No ‘Prima Donna’ could compare with these,
Nurturing the bobbins with practised ease;
Sensuous visions for the artist’s brush,
Theirs not to dally or to rush.
In aprons of yellow waisted tight,
They watched the spindles left and right;
At times you’d hear one sweetly sing,
The lilting voice a joy to bring.
Lithe movement of both skill and flair,
Unbounded beauty for one to stare;
Curve of bosom above contoured hip,
Blue tint of eye and ruby lip.
My love was for one with raven hair,
Tied back in abundance, lush and rare;
The blush of cheek and smile on her face,
Made a paradise of that faraway place.
Across the years I can see he still,
Walk the spinning floor within the Mill;
Tending and tying the linen thread,
Mane of hair behind her head.
I’ve travelled far in growing old,
No longer rash, no longer bold,
And still her grace in my mind’s eye,
Clears darkness like a brilliant sky.
Monty Alexander 19.7.99