Change and hope are the themes of today’s poems. Alison Driscoll is a poet and fiction writer and a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing. She has just been announced as the 2020 Molly Keane Writer-in-Residence. Hayley-Jenifer Brennan is a student on the current MA.
When It Is Over
There won’t be an empty seat at the table in our house for months after.
Kettles will be boiled off the stand and glasses will be clinked in the air.
The roads will pothole and commuters will beep and curse in the rush.
Floodlights will burn like leaving cert sun and exams will be sat,
pitches will pucker and balls will be won as stadiums fill up to the max
– from the drive-thru testing you can still see the tyre tracks –
We will hold hands and shake hands and say ‘I’m sorry for your loss’
again and again for all the caskets closed behind closed doors.
Children will fill classrooms and shops will raise shutters
We will stay on the footpaths as we walk towards others
but we’ll all carry anti-bac and recoil at coughs and splutters.
We’ll keep singing Happy Birthday at the sink as we try to wash away
the final statistics and images off the news – hospitals on the Hudson
and army tanks shouldering coffins instead of family and loved ones.
We will try to get back to normal but some tables will be emptier,
some families will be smaller and our doctors will face their mental scars
But people will try, and they’ll walk out their front doors
and they’ll sit in the driveway reluctant to start their cars.
The End of the Day
The world is quiet – cloaked in thickened ink
Shadows flicker, glimmer, stagger, shimmer
The Moon is on duty and the candles are sleepy now;
We are outside of Time.
We drift softly as the scraps of Stardust that fall on our lashes
gather at the close of our eyes, ready to enchant us with Secret Wishes
nothing contains them, they are limitless
The world is in slumber – stilled by hushed tranquillity
Stars sparkle, shimmer, twinkle, glitter
We are Poets and Artists now;
We do not have to be careful.
Imagination is wisps of cloud that we scatter absentmindedly during the day,
forbidden from leaving our heads in them when there is sunlight
not bound by Time or Space, our thoughts can wander
You are at Peace now – tethered forever to Inspiration
Moon Shavings dance, flurry, twirl, scurry
You are unafraid, you are free;
there is no need for reservation.
We can walk through this Warm Winter together,
tingles of touch on the tips of our fingers as we meet again in Dreams
there is no sorrow here
Hope is not a requirement but an absolute.
TOMORROW: “Easement” by John FitzGerald and “The Holy Ground” by James O’Sullivan