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by Laurel Johnson

He drifted from the moor-mists,
fog wrapped round him like a shroud.
White teeth gleamed in lamplight
as he smiled and swore my heart and spirit
had craic qualities that called up memories
of his dear departed mither, rest her soul.
Father said he was a rakehell
out to spoil a virgin, while
Mother shook her head and named him
shanty Irish rascal
but a handsome rogue at that.
Me, I loved the wildness in him,
the cocksure way he hovered near
enough to set my skin afire
with his intentions.  He parceled out
his heat and hunger for a fortnight --
my sweet rampallion --
wooing me in seaborne fogs
that masked his smiling Irish face,
stallion cudgel hot
against the rough-spun linen
of my skirts, soft mouth in reverent
exploration at my bodice.  One night I heard his footfalls
on the stones near my front door.  From the shadows
came his whisper, "Love, it's me, a hant back to the moors
with memories to warm the journey,
but I'll be back to finish what I started,
me foine girl."  I'm still waiting.

-- from an unpublished work in progress--



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