by Rody Gorman
There I go, old father that I am, once again,
Watching himself stroll and strike out
On his own out there past us on the strand
And promenade on the Costa Daurada, Spain
On our last summer holidays as a family.
And signs are it might indeed be our very last –
Come New Year, he’s going to turn all of seventeen
And we may not have another one together anymore.
It could have been me going past the Esplanade in Bray
Or in Funderland amusement park in the rain, portable Sony in hand,
The distortion mirror halls and arcades closing one by one.
Or walking back with my twin after evening mass,
Over the last reaches of sand reed and tall grass,
Going dark, talking and whistling to myself, in time
For tea in that boarded-up guesthouse outside Camp
In Kerry and then our own bedroom, cold and damp.
Here, it’s getting late. The sun’s set. Time to go and shut up shop.
It’s almost turn-the-clocks-back-time and all but Halloween.
I’m standing outside the palm reader’s, gazing out before me
To the Med and all along Golden Pine Beach and the rocky shore,
The dates falling fast, the leaves fading and losing their green.
The merry-go-round, the rides-and-slides, the rollercoaster and big top,
The strongman and all the acts, the fámairí and sunshades are all gone.
The ghost train stations and picture houses are nowhere to be seen.