Seán O Muiríosa
Grandad - Poem by Seán O Muiríosa
18th September 1994
It’s eleven years now
Since I last saw your face.
Your aged but venerable face
As mellow and brilliant
As the yellow moon tonight,
Eleven years on.
On that overcast day
You watched the football final,
Had dinner with Nan and relations.
That evening saw another final –
The beat of your heart
On your favourite padded armchair.
Time ceased to be time
As you dropped to the floor,
Fright and disbelief all around,
The tea-pot’s steam and tap
The only sound, momentarily,
Until the sheer panic took hold.
In A&E they waited and waited
Outside that room but couldn’t see
The flicker or the jump
Of that all important line on the screen.
More shock, more shock
All around, piercing cries,
All happening too soon.
I prayed unknowing all that night
In my power rangers pyjamas
Until words of God phased
And dissolved into dreams
Of us frolicking in your garden
At The Green with plump pears
And apples dropping
To the ground in the September sun.
Multicoloured shrubbery who’s names
Escaped my early mind,
A blue sky and not a sound
Except the laughter of trying to prise
A football from your hands.
Oh, your mighty hands!
And all the work that they had done
Enclosed now in the histories
And folklore of little parishes and towns
All over this land of extreme clusters
Where you were the man –
Mr Reliable, always strong.
My Grandad the Sergeant.
It was early the next morning
When I first learned of your passing.
Tears streamed freely
Into my mothers nightgown
Her grief held in mine
At the top of the stairs on the landing.
Time was lost there too,
It bewildered us for months.
And now here I am, with eleven years
Deposited and cemented
Onto this colourful bedrock,
Composed of moments irreversible,
Some implausible, yet others as certain
As a downpour in September.
I think of your warm welcoming face,
The slicked back black and grey hair,
The eternal humbleness
Of your Monaghan charm.
They all linger now where time is lost.
But tonight’s yellow moon
Is honouring you and I can only smile.
It refreshes an air that even though
This moon will fade and fall,
With time it’s bound to
For now I relish its autumnal delights.
Everything is lost to be one day found.
18th September 2005
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