December 4, 2020
Three Poems - Spring Breaking, The Greenhouse, A Moor
By Diarmuid ó Maolalaí
the sprinkling rain,
as it filters through tree branches,
lands with a crackling sound,
as if somebody were stepping
on crisp packets.
and I am walking home on Sunday
after dropping off my bicycle
at JT McGowan
Repairs, where I nodded with James
while he said something racist
and told me he can get the brakes working
for probably no more than 30
euros, depending on availability
and it is 3 pm and April; spring
breaking cover. like a lion
pushing through long grass and coming
upon ducks. the way they whip over surfaces
with wings clattering
in sudden applause,
and now the rain
comes heavier, the sound
ovating, and I'm glad bike is broken
because it frees one hand
for an umbrella
and the other for a bottle
I come around the corner, open my gate
and run the driveway
while around me flowers
get their knickers knocked sideways,
wet as newspapers
and dribbling ink. I struggle my keys
and soggy fingers, all objects
jammed in my arms,
and get the door open. as I step in
the sky cracks shining - a thin line
of blue between the clouds -
but my pants are soaked already,
and my only errand
my grandmother's house
lying shucked like an oyster shell. and I come by
so he can use my van - he's been promised
by my aunt for his place.
alone in thick gloves
my granddad worked here;
he once bred a flower
named for my gran.
baker's brought stickers
to number the window plates. brought tools and machine oil
to move a few bolts.
once there were seedlings
and a yellow
box nursery - now gone,
and the spiders, though other things
together in gloves
we examine them carefully - try moving pliers
to fiddle with screws.
clouds the view of the garden. under one rack
find a decomposing spade.
shunting on train-tracks
like rearranging furniture. going through dublin
in the elevated carriages, looking out
at a landscape
which is also a moor
sunken in rooftop pyramids. chaos;
the patchwork joints of buildings and chimney-stacks,
and chimney-stacks with cages on their spouts.
the uncomfortable placement
of skylights - livid, like scars
where you might have cut your hand.
you could be looking at waves bashing,
or cattle forced up a walkway - movement
pushing hard against
movement. up here
connections show the city. weak connections,
like the bones of dead animals,
crushed by traffic and pulled apart
and curious children.
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