Their Share of the Dark

Grand Canal Dock, Dublin

That hour of the night when sick people fall

forever from the high ledges of their lives

and the city is deep in a dream it will not share.

The moon clasps its head in cloudy blue hands,

reflected in the canal but shivering

among the cold, uncaring ripples.

The echoes of your footsteps flee like bats

as you walk into Grand Canal Square

lit by red poles, the only lighthouses needed

since the boats and dock workers have gone.

Everything has been killed by the silence

except the wind’s bitter monologue

blowing the long black flutes of the streets

that seep past the old leper hospital

and on to the crossroads of Misery Hill

where the dead bodies of thieves used to hang,

arguing over their share of the dark.

Published in Rattle issue 79

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