A Memory of the Hop Fields by Raine Geoghegan

Raine Geoghegan is from West Sussex. Her poems and short narratives have been published online and in print with Romany Routes Journal; Fair Acre Press, e-book on Maligned Species; Ground, Curly Mind Journal, Ink Pantry. Forthcoming publications: The Travellers’ Times; Café Writers, Issue 5, Fly on the Wall Poetry and Under the Radar.

She has been featured in a short film, Stories from the Hop Yards, based on the work of Herefordshire photographer Derek Evans, made by Catcher Media.    

A Memory of the Hop Fields


She is in the front garden

bending low, picking bluebells,

wearing her old red apron,

with the Spanish dancer on the front.


She stands up, rubbing her lower back,

her mind shaping a memory.

The hop fields,

her mother lean, strong,


picking the hops as quick as a squirrel.

Her bal in plaits, tied on top of her head.

Her gold hoops pulling her ears down.

Ruddy cheeks, dry cracked lips.


Her father pulling poles,

sweating, smiling,

his gold tooth for all to see.


At the end of a long day

she would stand on top of an apple crate,

comb his hair, kiss his neck tasting of salt.


He would pick her up,

Swing her high then low and say,

‘You’re the prettiest little chi there ever was.’

Raine Geoghegan

Romani words: Bal, hair. Chi, daughter/Child



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