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 ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1550-5162
Print ISSN
0013-2683
Pages
pp. 163-164
Launched on MUSE
2017-08-31
Open Access
No
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