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There is only time for this

Updated: Nov 20






(17)


From where does our hope, our joy, our ecstasy, come –

from our tragedy is your answer.

–Kevin Kiely

I’m stuck, like a windless cloud,

as uninspired as my thin, uncut, uncoloured hair.

All this reading, I tell myself, will surely

tripwire me into writing a poem or review

or something soon. For now, all I can do

is mourn the loss of our Eavan Boland.

He’s hauled the vacuum cleaner up the stairs

and the rest is up to me. Or I could go out,

get Vitamin D. But the robin’s perching

on the swan that desperately needs painting,

so I figure the garden is his domain for the moment,

and stare at the screen instead, fingering

the goose-bumps rising up on my nape.

In the workshop now, Michael’s charring

his eleventh wooden carving, a subconscious

odyssey, which is coming to represent a hazardous

waste facility, or the state of his teeth.

No dentist for the duration. Doing, he says,

keeps me from fixing on the pain. And I know

it’ll distract me, too, from trawling through

the terrifying news. I decide to grab a bite

for energy first. But we’ve run out of bread

and there’s no more chocolate. Just a pair

of speckled bananas in the table bowl on the brink

of a journey to the bin for organic waste.

So I take the sorry-looking fruit into the kitchen,

cleaving to each other like the couple

in Eavan’s Quarantine. But this is a lockdown,

not a famine. I rummage for coconut oil

and nuts and the rest, and hey presto, after thirty

minutes or so....



Afric McGlinchey



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