Treasure Island

Sean Joyce

(17 April Everyear / Galway, Ireland)

The Best Day Ever


We sat on the rug behind the
Bedford van eating our picnic.
The van masked us from the breeze
blowing from the sea and masked
the primus stove that slowly
boiled the water for our tea.

We ate boiled eggs and tomatoes
chicken legs and slices of pink ham
Johnny put jam on chicken and
mustard on his ham. He said the
tomatoes were the biggest ever.

My mother and my grandmother
my aunties and their babies
and around about my auntie's
husbands playing 'pitch and toss'.
I was allowed to keep all the pennies
that landed in my reach and
many did.

Other people came by and stoping
their cars they chatted for a while
'Wasn't that a grand day? ', they'd
ask. And we all agreed that it was.
Then Granny said - it was the best,
the best day ever, and it was.

Afterwards the babies rolled on the rug
while their mothers hung their nappies
on the roof-rack of the van.
On the roof-rack of the old Bedford where
they were already blowing in the wind.

Later, when the spaces were empty
the day grew darker and the wind blew harder.
It blew through the grass picking
up the sand and blowing it about.

Later still when we were all far away
Johnny died unexpectedly. Some years
later my granny died, then my mother.
Recently my uncles have begun to die
and soon it will be the babies. And
before that I suppose it will be me

Submitted: Saturday, December 17, 2005
Edited: Monday, April 21, 2008

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Comments about this poem (The Best Day Ever by Sean Joyce )

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  • Sulaiman Mohd Yusof (4/12/2008 10:49:00 PM)

    we all hv had our best days..............it will comes..........no matter how and what and why and when..............and who......... (Report) Reply

  • Kelly Moy (12/28/2005 8:48:00 PM)

    its is some folks that live in places that dont keep up with other places and if we was sociopsycholo people we could think up a name for that and it will change
    i will make a fortune commissioning architecture and taking over the world by being the wheel behind making places more hospitable then it will be nicer and not so ugly that u cringe just looking at someones home, the exterior walls of their domicile and their everything it will be better thanks to me but i did the easy stuff
    it was the other folks the architects engineers construction workers in their hard hats and those involved witht the building materials
    please listen world this is a pleed for no more contemporary sheet rock or flaky ceiling tiles lets figure out a better solution
    back in the good old days a man made a home out of aluminum soda cans and concrete
    i think missile silos r cool
    i'm not aware of a promo movie being made their (Report) Reply

  • Joseph Daly (12/17/2005 3:49:00 AM)

    Sean, a wonderfu piece, written with grewat venacular (the lines. ''Wasn't that a grand day? ', they'd / ask. And we all agreed that it was' could not be written by anyone except an Irish person) .

    I love the way you casually look at death: as something that's going to happen and there is nothing that can be done about it. the final stanza is beautiful, it seems to suggest that it is the distance between people is what keeps them alive, and I guess that is true: the closer you are to someone the more alive they will in your memory, when they have physaically gone. (Report) Reply

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