We steam on barstools
read between slogans on a plastered ceiling
tune to the cuts and grace notes in banter
binge on ambience, high on E minor.
Coburg Street, past midnight, soaks
in sodium light. Rain beats time
on bodhran umbrellas, my spine
a river of running quavers that stick
to the soles of my sensible shoes
so I high-step the home stretch.
Framed in doorways on Wellington Road
crinoline ghosts wear mirrored skirts
that flirt with moonlight.
Guest house stairs are in rising fifths
my top floor room, a tall ship, exploring
the lilt in the Lee’s liquid fingers.
* Jayne Stanton lives, writes and works in Leicestershire. This poem was highly commended in last year’s Gregory O’Donoghue Poetry Competition which is now again open for entries.
www.munsterlit.ie for details.
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