At One End Of A Bench.
At one end of a bench
an old man wearing Winter clothes
regards the fountains and Summer
through melt-water irises.
He 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 son
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, and beyond
the thrash of traffic and voices.
In that moment: two strangers on a bench
are travelling backwards to Mayo;
elsewhere a beggar has recreated himself
in a bank window and somewhere, in a kitchen,
a woman is conversing though the voice
that answers has not been heard for years.