In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

POEMS DERMOT BOLGER TEMPLE STREET CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL This is your territory, I brought you here: Shoddy tenement windows where washing flaps, Crumbling lanes where cars get broken for parts. There is an archway beneath which we passed— Like the one above which you shared a flat With your sisters up from Monaghan for work In a war-becalmed Dublin. Surely you must once Have gazed up, puzzled by how the years since Had landed you here with a son, a stuttering misfit, Unable to pronounce the most simple of words, A bright penny whose cloud you’d never see lift As you fretted, unaware of how close death hovered. The speech therapist’s office had fancy toys and books And a special mirror which allowed me to be watched. The waiting room contained a white merciless clock Which ticked off the final hours we spent alone, Gazing down at a garden where I yearned to walk, Trapped indoors by the shame of my garbled tongue. * * * I stand outside that hospital in Nerney’s Court, At Kelly’s Row where an blacksmith once worked, And no logic can explain why you feel this close, Why I see us in the mother and child who pass, TEMPLE STREET CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL 163 Or how, as I age, I slowly become your son, Gazing through your eyes with incomprehension. I was too young to have known you, so it makes no sense That every passing year only deepens your absence. PRAYER I have come this long way without finding you Or losing your reflection, Have tried a dozen obsessions without cleansing Your taste from my tongue. Oldest friend and adversary, fugitive brother, We recognise each other In carriages of express trains which pass: Your hands beat on the glass. PRAYER 164 ...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 163-164
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.