Come home to go away again
Come home from far off places. Come
To see Dunoran one last time.
Come home, blown on an anxious wave
To see, as if for the first time
How small the old place looks, how grey
How tired and unimportant.
Come home laughing. Bitter laughter.
Bent double over a tree trunk
Coughing out curses, choked on a
Thought that sticks in your throat. Who is
The joke on if not you yourself?
Come home, not like a father, not
Like a lover and not like a
Soldier returning from a war.
Come home like a ghost to walk these
Cold walls at midnight when noone
Can see, to stand in the darkness
With noone to wait inside for you
Noone to sing sweet songs for you
Noone to weep or mourn for you
Noone even to notice if
You ever come home at all.
Come home with a plan in your mind
Come home with a purpose you dare
Not voice, not even to yourself
Come home to go away again.
The heir to a fortune squanders his inheritance on wine and gambling. Destitute and alone, he makes a desperate bargain with a gentleman he meets one midnight. For seven years he will have all the riches he craves. But when seven years are done, what will become of him then?
Sheridan Le Fanu’s story of a man’s pact with the devil is retold in 14 poems by Rufus Woodward.
‘Sir Dominick’s Bargain’ is Chapbook number one of four volumes published by the Olgada Press.