Devil-may-care by Órla Fay

The red moon rises

as the house of the sun sets.

Driving home from the sea in the dark

I am holding no one’s hand.

I know this route so well.

I’m the child falling asleep in the backseat.

Mum blamed the sea air.

One Sunday we made devil’s food cake

and came to the strand.


Over the bridge now,

past the river and the abbey

the house of a late writer is in flames,

flames that lick the dusk sky

with smoke billowing upwards.

A crowd has gathered by a fire engine

at the crossroads.


I imagine she will always

be with me on these journeys

echoing forgotten, prophetic words,

my memory of her incombustible.

I’d come back for my notebooks,

the enchantment of words,

and the dogs, I’d come back for them.

If your house was burning

what would you take with you?

Órla Fay is the editor of Boyne Berries Magazine. Recently her work has appeared in The Pickled Body, Tales from the Forest, Skylight 47, The Ofi Press, Sixteen Magazine and is forthcoming in The Ogham Stone. You can read more on her blog here.

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