Margaret wakes to silence,
no drips through the thatch.
From a pile on the floor she layers on clothes,
laces her boots with dirty fingers
and is out the door.
North or south?
She chooses Roscommon,
avoids the new highway,
stomps across lumpy fields to the lanes that know her.
Sheep look up, but only for a moment,
cows pay her no mind.
Her pace is steady, her gaze straight on.
Wild flowers, berries and burrs pass unnoticed.
By the time she gets to Biddy's
a dim sun is high in the sky.
She slaps her hands against her thighs. No one comes.
At Delia Fallon's, she's given tea with bread and jam.
She's given bacon for her pocket and a chat,
though Delia knows Margaret rarely speaks.
"Stay awhile," Delia urges when the sky sends down a lashing.
Margaret tightens the rope around her waist, walks out.
At Four Corners, she sits in a drizzle by the side of the road
and knocks together the toes of her boots.
Today, It's Johnny Dole's truck that stops.
"Get in," he says with a thumbs up. She climbs into the high seat.
"No more trouble than a bale of hay," Johnny says and she giggles.
"How goes your day?" he asks, as if her days were ever different.
He has always known Margaret Who Walks the Roads.
Long ago his mother told him, "There's no harm in her and she likes to walk."