Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Gerry LaFemina: Grafton Street, St. Stephen’s Green

Above the ruckus & din of Dublin—

busker song, busses muttering

in the insistent dialect of diesel,

tourists discussing wool & tweed, 

whiskey & the Book of Kells—

church bells call out deliberately

the twelfth hour, thus reminding us

we’re halfway between yesterday 

& tomorrow, though after the first 

toll we’re closer to what’s ahead,

whatever loss awaits. A young man

implores each of us for Euros

moving from stranger to stranger

with a story we’ve heard before—

a sick mother he needs to see

or else a daughter hungry at home.

So many imperatives on this street.

So many pigeons chests puffed out

like footballers after a win.

All aluminum & glass, the streetcars 

might well have been ordered from 

some sci-fi utopia, & last week 

I rode one past an 18th century

abbey & the squares of lost saints.

The woman five time zones west,

does she live in the country of the past

or of the future? We’ve counted 

the passport stamps of heartache

& hope. The bells stop finally,

their last vibrations in a frequency

only angels can hear. Addressing them

by pet names, I quietly petition each

then take coins from a pocket. Tithe.


Gerry LaFemina’s many books include Baby Steps in Doomsday Prepping (Madville Publishing, 2019). He teaches at Frostburg State University in Maryland.

Copyright 2021 Gerry LaFemina

Dublin, Grafton Street, View from St Stephen’s Green (Wikimedia)

2 comments on “Gerry LaFemina: Grafton Street, St. Stephen’s Green

  1. Rose Mary Boehm
    June 24, 2021

    Excellent poem. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Daniel Burston
    June 24, 2021

    A wonderful evocation of an amazing city.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on June 24, 2021 by in Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , , , , .

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