Dear Nessa - Now that our marriage is over
I would like you to know that, if I could put back the clock
Fifteen years to the cold March day of our wedding,
When I was a boy, myself and my girl
Used bicycle up to the Phoenix Park;
Outside the gates we used lie in the grass
Making love outside Áras an Uachtaráin.
I was reading gas meters in Rialto
- In and out the keeled-over, weeping dustbins -
When, through the open doorway of the woman in the green tracksuit
Who's six feet tall and who has nine kids,
'She came home, my Lord, and smashed in the television;
Me and the kids were peaceably watching Kojak
When she marched into the living room and declared
That if I didn't turn off the television immediately
The doctor said to me: Your father needs a new head. So I said to the doctor: You can give him my head.
My days were numbered - broken marriage, cancer, False teeth, bad dreams- so 'Yes' was his answer.
Now I lie in my bed wondering away in my head What will my father look like with his new head?
Having endured the screeching for a full ten minutes (At first I thought it was just somebody being murdered Or beaten-up)
I decided to forsake the bed and look out the window:
J.J. Silk was true Free State gentry;
Made his fortune by a judicious admixture Of fraud and piety in the 1920's;
By 1930 had settled in the town of Nenagh
Leaving behind us the alien, foreign city of Dublin
My father drove through the night in an old Ford Anglia,
His five-year-old son in the seat beside him,
The rexine seat of red leatherette,