Unearthly by David Mohan

I used to go walking back then, when I still lived with my folks. I did the Meadowlane walk, five minutes from my front porch. First, you crossed a road, and then you were on the farm drive. It was like a bit of country tucked away in the suburbs. I walked up a bit of lane beside a field with two horses, one black, one mottled. Sometimes they would have their green jackets on, or sometimes they would have wandered into the trees near the boundary wall. You could see them sometimes from the bus stop, tearing leaves off the trees, or scratching their shanks against the bark.

It was always quiet, the walk up to the farmhouse. The horses would always ignore me if I called so I contented myself with walking past without expectation. The path was straight at first but would then skirt around the house, which was tucked away, and protected by a screen of rhododendrons. I was never sure if it was the old, defunct house, the farm, or the hospital set behind the woods that took the name Meadowlane. It was all one place to me.

A dark lane ran alongside the small beech wood in front of the hospital. My parents said it was a place for people who drank too much, people who had suffered break downs. For that reason I was both curious and wary.

If I passed people on this lane I would always look up into the treetops, which were spotted with rooks nests.

Turning then, the way opened out to the best part of the walk. Set along a fenced path built to take cars to the hospital from a far stone gate leading to the road, there was a long view over fields. I would get lost in imagining I was in some other country as I walked along, my headphone music turned low in case of cars.

You could shake off the suburbs in a place like this. I walked through, oblivious to anything besides the wide curve of the path. There was a good wide view of sky I didn’t normally see, an epic tilt of earth and trees. I felt the throb of the season in the air again, and realised how room-bound I had become, how unearthly.

David Mohan is a poet and short story writer based in Dublin, Ireland. His poetry has been published in The Cincinnati Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Ninth Letter, Stirring, Corium Magazine, New World Writing, PANK and the Cumberland River Review. His poetry has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize.