• africmcglinchey

riding the light

Updated: Aug 30


In Dublin today, my boy looked out of his window;

a skewbald horse in the street, being given a wash down.

In the cul-de-sac at the end of Black Horse Avenue,

a balcony game of bingo, invisible voice

from a tannoy ringing out numbers:

33, come in for ya tea…

The cries of seagulls and pigeons

echoed by sirens, a lion's roar

and the songs after: Dirty aul' Town, Raglan Row.

He noticed a kid, he says,

walking the park with his parents,

counting the steps. We’ll go home, they said,

when you get to a thousand.

He kept checking his watch.

We’re not at a thousand yet, not at a thousand

yet, not at a thousand yet….

and he skimmed arms through the light,

and they smiled and they didn’t correct him.

Afric McGlinchey

On the 28th April 2020, the death toll in Ireland was 1159.

It had doubled in eleven days.


I am indebted to the Arts Council for funding a project to write poems during, but not necessarily about, the lockdown, and to share them on social media, the most immediate and direct form of communication at this time. The poems will be responses to stories given to me. This first one is from my son, Cian Hamilton, who arrived back in Dublin from Zimbabwe, just in time for lockdown. Thank you Cian. x

Photo courtesy of Cian Hamilton.

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+353 (0)86 3633567

Castlefreke, Clonakilty, Co. Cork

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