Resurrecting Leaving Ireland

December 12, 2021 Carol Brennan King

After months of feeling blocked, I have picked up the story of my great-great-grandparents and their journey to Bradford County in Pennsylvania in 1848. The working title of my book is Leaving Ireland, and I think 2122 might be the year it is finished.

Today we went up to Bradford County and tried to get close to the Susquehannah River in search of a place where John and Johannah might have set foot on their way to their new home. We turned off Route 6 and turned onto a narrower road and then onto a narrower road and then onto a narrower road, and then onto a single lane road dropping off into the river. Jim stopped the car right on the edge of the river where the original Homet’s Ferry might have landed.

I asked him to shut the engine off and open the windows…and then this happened – words on my page as though an amanuensis had written them there.

Dec. 12,21 Homet’s Ferry

Here is the valley

in the bottom of the valley

a green river rolls by

rolling south regally

rolling by here at the end

of the Homet’s Ferry road

the green mountain, trees

hanging over the green water

lonely now, a farm here

and there, what remains,

stone walls snaking up through

the woods, pushed over

by a gnarled tree.

Silence, stillness today

but for the stray “caw caw”

of a crow, lonely in the silence,

blank pages here now,

but filled ones hang in the air

the shout of the ferry captain

calling out “away from the edge”

mothers calling “over here”

“hold my hand,” praying

that it won’t be long now

but looking up from the dark green water

up the muddy road, past the posts

where the men tie up the ferry

up past the edge of the dirt road

where it disappears around a corner

up she walks,  holding the child’s

hand, walking behind the wagon

angling its way up the hill,

up the mountain, into the forest

where the road will wander

higher and higher into the darkness

of tall elms, maples, oak trees and

evergreens, roots reaching out of the

creek banks dropping waterfalls

along the road and the

silence holds her tears

and mine for we are nearing

the end.

Stay tuned and watch for more if you have family that made that journey across the Atlantic to a new life and home in the U.S.

Photo borrowed from

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