Truth or Dare
It was the last day of summer
and the grass in the back field
was too high for football
so you suggested hide-and-seek.
As I counted down
I sneaked a glimpse of you
slipping through the hedge,
but when I followed
there was no sound, no broken twigs
to guide my way
and the ditch had stolen your scent.
At every turn
I expected your muffled laugh
splitting into a scream. Instead
the white noise of crickets
rubbed the silence. I called your name,
it bounced back unanswered
and even the trees seemed to look away.
Leaves mumbled words I couldn’t hear
as the overgrown path hurried
into a clearing. A man
in a wedding suit, elegant but frayed,
stepped from the shadows,
spoke my name with stark aplomb,
offered a black umbrella
just as a scarf of rain whipped through
and spoiled our game when he revealed
bare legs pushing through the undergrowth.
Copyright © Maurice Devitt 2015
After a career in business he completed the Poetry Studies MA at Mater Dei in Dublin, focusing on the poetry of James Wright, John Berryman, Charles Bernstein and others. He was recently runner-up in Over the Edge New Writer Award, short-listed for Poets Meet Painters, Cuirt New Writing Award, The Listowel Writers’ Week Collection Competition and selected for The Cork Spring Poetry Festival. In 2013 he was placed third in The Cork Literary Review Manuscript Competition, and short-listed for the Over the Edge New Writer Award, Westport Arts Poetry Competition and The Doire Press International Chapbook Competition. During 2012 he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, was runner-up in the Cork Literary Review Manuscript Competition and short-listed for the Listowel Writers’ Week Poetry Collection Competition. Over the past three years he has had 80+ poems accepted by various journals in Ireland, England, Scotland, the US, India, Australia and Mexico. He is a founder member and chairperson of the Hibernian Writers’ Group.