Mark Miller – Poem

This is one of a series of poems, written by my Grandmother, that represent a portrait of her childhood in Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, places and people she loved who are, for the most part, no longer with us. She dedicates each and every poem to her daughters, and has kindly given me permission to share them with you all, enjoy…

Mark Miller

We had our characters, of course –

There was Mark Miller, he was a gypsy;

He rode a flat-cart, drawn by a wild-eyed

Pony. In one large careless hand he held

The reins, loosely, and in the other hand

A thin, long-handled whip, with which he’d flick

The pony as it sped; and when we saw

Him coming we would crowd against the hedge.

We were afraid of his wild blackness,

Like Heathcliff, reincarnated.

I never heard him speak to anyone

Or saw him off his wagon. Sometimes at

Night I’d lie in bed and hear the sound of

Horses galloping behind the house,

And try to tell myself it was the ghost

Of some old highwayman, or of a coach

Trying to shake off its pursuers.

I was not, at that time, afraid of ghosts;

There were too few to crowd into my mind –

A kindly teacher and a new-born babe –

Wherever they might be assumed no threat;

But my imagination was not strong

Enough to banish from my mind the thought

Of that dark man, powerful and wild and full

Of unknown terrors and presentiments.


© Dorothy Davis-Sellick 1998 onwards


1 Comment

Filed under Meet The Family, Other Folks Writings That I Like, Poem Of The Week, Poetry

One response to “Mark Miller – Poem

  1. She has a way with words. I could actually see him in my head : )

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