At the end of our road was a stream
beside the stream ran a path
that became dirt and lonely
if followed


we were especially aimless
one dull summer day
walking the path
further than we had walked before


until we came upon a suitcase
sitting in the middle of the path
as though someone had left it down
just for a moment, miles from anywhere


instinctively I reached for it
before my hand was batted away
by one of the lads
Don’t touch it!


It might be a trap!
A bomb!
Poisonous!

I put my hands in my pockets


we sat around it
as though it were a campfire and we
were cowboys, frontiersmen
living on our wits, minute to minute

we leaned close to it
someone could smell oil
someone else, fruit
I could smell pine, sawdust


Bob Daly said that there was ticking
we sat there, hushed
half afraid and fully silent—

Steve Denehan lives in Kildare, Ireland with his wife Eimear and daughter Robin. He is the author of two chapbooks and three poetry collections. Winner of the Anthony Cronin Poetry Award and twice winner of Irish Times’ New Irish Writing, his numerous publication credits include Poetry Ireland Review and Westerly.