touring the Gaeltacht
in a clapped-out Morris 
I was pretty much lost
but that was fine by me –
I’m all for serendipity
as evening settled,
I pulled up at a crest above
a wasteland plain of burned black earth
I headed for a distant glow,
and pulled up at the shanty sagging walls
of a turf-roof pumpkin cottage,
a faded window-sign, bi-lingual,
‘seomraí ar fáil – rooms available’
the door opened instantly,
a full four feet and inches man
as wide as he was high
stood beaming,
the passage walls were lined with shelves
of labelled boxes, bound with string,
stretching, it seemed,
to the heart of Earth and further yet
he showed me to the fire-cosy kitchen
we sat on well-worn leather wing-chairs
the host’s feet dangled above the floor
he dropped to a rug
skipped to a cupboard and offered a smoke,
‘Foggy Fox, silky smooth’
and poured tumblers of Tullamore,
‘heavenly nectar… slàinte mhath’
‘so, what’s in all the boxes?’
‘broken pots, I mend them’
‘how long does each one take?
‘I have all the time in the world’
he sipped a second Tullamore,
‘each box is filled with hurts 
of damaged lives,
broken marriages are my specialty,
when couples get back together
I fix the shards with molten gold
and send them the repair, no charge,
a token that life together can get better –
if they’ll just be a little kinder in future’
‘you must have hundreds stored away’
‘more like thousands – give or take’
an exquisite glowing porcelain
embraced in golden veins
caught my eye,
‘that is magic, do you take Visa?
American Express? name your price’
‘my work’s beyond price’
‘do you get to mend a lot?’
‘these days? not that many’.

© coolhermit 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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Brilliant, Rick. The only word necessary to describe this.

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