Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Slipping In - Poem on Audioboo

To hear my poem Slipping In (published in Poetry Ireland Review No. 101) on Audioboo, click here. Text:

Slipping in

Dayroom. I watch them meet again in the middle.
'I don't like small apples,' he says. 'I likes them big and round.'
'Daddy is waiting at the boathouse,' she says. 'We must go down.'

A woman I used to know squints at me from her chair.
She blinks with her usual just-discovered concern.
'Have you been looked after?' she asks again.

In the photo I hold up in front of her face
she raises a glass of champagne and laughs.
Hoping for a different answer, 'Is that you?' I ask.

'It must be,' she says. 'Have you been looked after?'
'I don't like small apples. I likes them big and round.''
'Daddy is at the boathouse. We really must go down.'

I'd like to go down to the boathouse,
float by water past ancient beech, a girl
sipping champagne and laughing on my knee.

Daddy stops rowing and turns to us
'I'm glad you two finally came down.'
He grins: 'Try the apples. They're rotten but they're big and round.'

It is getting dark in the house of repetitions.
'Have you been looked after?' she asks with a sudden frown.
Visiting time is over. Too late to get out now.

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