John O'Neill

Picking Blackcurrants

John O'Neill

Share Via:


Off a loanen by the Lough side,
Blackcurrants, tacky, bloodied,
fall ripe from my full hands.
Snagged in branches, I stand
grasping pendant bundles
as grandad sits, fondles
glossy pellets in the pans
with his piebald hands,
and thinks about the clot or seeping vein
that ripened to a tangle in his brain,
that slurred the words from his something lips
and the sense of touch from his fingertips.

Now jam sits in jars on the pantry shelf
and, waiting, keeps its flavour to itself.


John O'Neill


John O'Neill is a graduate of UCD and Cambridge University. He lives in Dublin and works as a freelance researcher and editor.