In Dublin today, my lad 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.
He noticed a kid in the park,
counting his steps.
We’ll go home, said his parents,
when you get to a thousand.
The boy 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.
On the 28th April 2020, the death toll in Ireland was 1159.
It had doubled in eleven days.
I'm grateful to the Arts Council for their support at this time. My project will be a series of poems for my blog, some experimental, some narrative, which will be written in response to stories given. The first is inspired by a story 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.