Mark Granier

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?

Blitzed glass

(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.