At one end of a bench
an old man wearing Winter clothes
regards the fountains and Summer
through melt-water irises.
This man needs my ear to be a conch
so that he can call to the past down these auditory canals.
And when he calls, his wife and sons will resurrect,
return, reverse like filings into a family.
It is mid-morning in Stephen's Green;
the usual sounds: clacking fowl and fountain symphonies,
outside the thrash of traffic and voices.
In a moment,
two strangers on a bench are traveling backwards to Mayo;
elsewhere a beggar has recreated himself in a bank window
and somewhere, busy in a kitchen, a woman is conversing
though the voice that answers has not been heard for years.