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after Michael Longley
Because of a parade, the road to Bushmills is closed.
It’s the only road that leads to Portrush, a town
less than nine miles away, where we’ve been told
there’s a laundromat. At a roadblock on the edge of town,
Union Jacks hang from lampposts & flap in the July breeze.
A police officer, via a series of Karate-like arm motions,
directs us down winding roads lined with hedgerows
& Bell Heather. We don’t mention we’re on our honeymoon.
Instead, we shift our rental car into gear & drive toward
Dundarave. Jackdaws & Coal tits flutter & soar overhead,
but they have more urgent tasks to worry over, than ancient
battles, or marching bands, or flags. After nearly an hour
of wrong turns & backtracking, we once again find ourselves
on the road to Bushmills. In defeat we head back to our B&B,
knowing we won’t have clean clothes tonight. The jackdaw’s
“kya” call is lost on the wind.
Copyright 2023 Jason Irwin
Jason Irwin’s collections of poetry include The History of Our Vagrancies published by Main Street Rag. He lives in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
Yes, I’ve been on that road, except it was the road to Jameson’s — or from there — Cork to Castletownbere, Beara Peninsula. Thanks for the reminder. Lovely.
One feels how much the poet loves precisely naming thins, and places!
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Exactly. I love the precise language of Jason’s poems.