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