after Ronnie Drew
Alone I roam by lamplight
back to wind butchering coats at a bus stop
where I waited for a tin-box-ride
to a place I try to call ‘home’. Dublin
city centre long behind me, and Clonee
a different place altogether, stranger-packed,
no light in the window, no welcome at the door
unfamiliar, impersonal. The footmat layered
with damp snow. Here are gated communities
in which you’d hardly get to know the neighbours
but for their dinner shouts and takeaway fights –
people eaten to nothing by a place which knows
nothing. Clonee, I’ll give you spaces that either you
or me can leave in time.
My lamp will guide alone in these precincts.
‘This time I was moving, ‘tis time I passed on.