i.m. Garry MacMahon

They’d promised a fine summer from the start:
the dolphins, they said, had shoaled into the bay
in April, and the warblers came a full week
earlier than usual. So we lay on twin beds
in the Gaeltacht digs, reading novels,
eating oranges and waiting for the rain
to stop so that we’d be able to walk again
above the sea by Ballydavid. But as we stood,
seeking out formulas and metaphors
for how the dashed spray poured back down
into the depths off the faces of the gravestone-granite
rocks, something changed. And the next morning
we read in the local paper that the dolphins
had unexpectedly gone back out to sea.

Bernard O’Donaghue


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