Our Last Christmas in Dublin, poems by Lorraine Carey
Irish poet and artist Lorraine Carey has had work published in the following: Atrium, Prole, The Blue Nib, The Bangor Literary Journal, Poethead, Epoque Press, Marble Poetry, The Honest Ulsterman, Sixteen, Live Encounters, Picaroon and The Lake among others.
She has been shortlisted / runner up in Listowel, Trocaire/ Poetry Ireland, The Blue Nib Chapbook Competition and The Sixth Bangor Poetry Competition. Her artwork has featured in Three Drops From A Cauldron, Dodging The Rain, North West Words and Riggwelter Press. A contributor to several anthologies, her debut collection is From Doll House Windows (Revival Press).
A Walk in the Snow
Threading the laces of my boots,
blue suede and solid soled,
decided I’d walk to Mass.
The others stayed home among presents
and balls of scrunched up wrapping.
Carols drifted down the hall with
scents of sweet, earthy peat and basted turkey,
as I shivered getting dressed.
Trussed up in black velvet,
that frock coat, now hangs off
my frame like a Victorian imposter.
I set off, stood out against the brilliant
white of a fresh fall.
The snow, compacted overnight,
crunched underfoot, with my solid steps.
Frost sprinkled ditches sparkled
under a baby blue sky.
Spiked shards of ghostly tractor trails
flecked with muck, marred the silent purity.
Spindly branches pointed, mocked my early start
and heathen tendencies shovelled aside,
just for today, like the ice mounds
on the main road. A layer of sand and grit
made it safe, whilst winding turns to Kinnagoe
were left to their own fate and the slow melt of drifts,
where no cars took chances.
And on I walked that Christmas Day,
sat upstairs and scanned the pews
for those tight, black curls
that weren’t there. Joined my gloved hands
together as the long walk home
preyed on my mind.
The cedars waltzed to carols,
shook off ice crystals like memories
which fell to earth, as I formed my own
and strolled home among beeping horns
and yuletide greetings.
Our Last Christmas in Dublin
Aching legs and curiosity took me there,
I squeezed and entered the swaying mêlée,
braying in their festive sweaters.
Reindeer noses flashed in the crowd
roaring over each other in the fug
and their wobbling beer.
Tiny storms brewed in pint glasses,
jostled in the crush of pealed laughter.
Our banter and anecdotes brought
to the altar of Bruxelles.
You leant in closer when he removed
his scarf and inhibitions.
I saw the tears before they fell,
heard peaking speech, fuddled
with top shelf measures.
Time to go, the noise abated
with the departure of Christmas parties
and spiking bloodlevels.
No festive glee for the flirtatious bouncer
in a Crombie coat, who caught you
as you tripped on the step.
He wound the scarf around again,
muttered like a bad Santa
as he watched you with the doorman.
He kissed me on the cheek and you on the lips,
disappeared the opposite way.
And I struggled to hold you up, the pavements
glued with Wrigleys and butts.
Crossed the Liffey and O’Connell Bridge,
lit up with sadness and the sparkles
of your lonely heart.
© Lorraine Carey