Maureen Browne

Brief Endurance

Maureen Browne

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School out for the summer

I arrived at Grandmother's.

Tense as the Cold War

I walked across the yard

to the shuddering green door:

The dog, tired of touring

the kitchen, thundering

into it scratching, rattling latch,

bolt, bars, turning me rigid.


Allowed his nose-width

he shoots straight into

me panting, slabbering,

jumping at me on me

round me yelping some

murderous language

his tongue hanging his tail

flailing. He lets me go –


my Aunt is in control:

she slaps her thigh

and he's bounding behind

her to be shut in with

the potato boiler

and the rusting bicycles.

She throws me a bandage –

He's only being friendly.


The sun busy beckoning:

with my cousin I crawl

over straw bales knowing

they will prick like needles,

swing on the apple trees,

meddle with machinery:

the cultivator, the tractor,

the trailer, and things left

to themselves in the defunct

stable: Tilley lamps, Rizla tins,

bone handled knives, a graip

with a missing tine, chicken wire.


My wound, salved for a while,

gravitating towards my heart,

the going back hard.



Maureen Browne


She is a member of Ards Writers and attend poetry workshops at the Seamus Heaney centre for poetry at QUB. She has read poetry at The Festival of the Peninsula, Swaledale Festival, and summer season at La Mon Hotel. She has also had work displayed in public places in Havant, won various prizes in competitions and been published in magazines – Pulsar, Orbis, Writing Magazine.She is currently working towards her first collection.