DEFENCE

It’s raining.

It seems mud and rain is de rigeur in this world.

She keeps this phrase to herself.

Underdressed, she shifts, stamps feet,

pulls colourful summer scarves around her arms.

Not far from here, the Shannon cough

rolls in from the river.

There is raucous cheering

and words fall through the air

like touch and try and scrum.

She thinks she can pick out her son

amongst the throng of nearly men

but loses him as they fall,

then rise and fall again.

She’s drifting off, floating through other worlds –

Midas’s wife, Heaney, honeyed tongues.

Cleopatra stands on the horizon.

An asp, at her ear, whispers false words of love.

And then, from the far side of the chalky lines,

she hears his voice –

plaintive, deep –

shouting out across flat fields

towards the hills of Clare and Tipperary,

Everybody has someone.

and echoing down the lanes of Limerick,

Everybody has someone.

Everybody has someone.






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