The townland markers
The townland markers

The hawthorns in the Lawn where the Easter bird used to lay Smarties in plastic coin pouches, mysteriously inscribed AIB, in the nest my grandmother Kitty and I would have built the week before. Sticks, pieces of wool, feathers, moss, if the nest was good enough, the bird would lay. Before that these two trees marked the townland boundary between Tibradden and Kilmashogue. They may be among those dotted along the line of Cloragh’s demesne on the map James Byrne drew for Sarah Davis in 1811. In this light, the trunks remind me of my grandmother’s hands, blue-veined, opalescent. Though fallen, may they extend their protection still to my cheeky youngest son who, quite rightly, has neither time nor patience for such supernatural piety.

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