Saturday, March 19, 2016


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.

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