Dublin, 5.32pm, May 17, 1974
for Patrick Mac Allister
You’re crossing from Mount Street to Merrion Square
when the third one goes off, near
Greene’s Bookshop –– does the wind of it touch you?
(from windows that had reflected an overcast
Friday evening sky) crunch underfoot
as you find yourself among the dazed or cut
spilling from shops and offices.
And the bodies? You don’t stop
for a closer look, but keep on
steadily walking, as if guided through
what the evening has been displaced to
(by the ones who make such things
their business.) Still clear
in your distracted head, after fifty years.
I said ‘Imagine if
you had got there a moment earlier…’
And you: ‘Believe it or not, I had never
thought of that…’
A coordinate on the unsmoothed, breathing map,
you cross the city, climb
the creaky stairs to your Biology grind
in a room down by the quays, where you try
to concentrate while sirens swarm around you —
the country of the living, still so wide,
its borders hold you easily, mid-stride —
Mark Granier‘s poems have been broadcast and appeared in many print and online magazines and journals, including The New Statesman, Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, The Friday Poem, Verse Daily and Trasna. His fifth collection, Ghostlight: New & Selected Poems, was published by Salmon in 2017. His sixth collection is forthcoming.