Memories of loneliness within the crowd and seeking solitude in order to conjure up home…
UNDER BLUE ANCHOR
They were singing The Parting Glass. The fire was high.
Some eyes were closed with the weight of the song;
others gleamed. All there were drinking hard.
The windows ran with condensation and rain fell straight
in the windless night. I rose and threaded my way
to the door. From woodsmoke, I stepped into seaspray.
From the crossweave of the song, I stepped into the cry
of gulls. Sickle wings looped and turned in the dark.
I sat on the wall and thought of home. I lifted my face
into the rain and thought of you and the children. All of you
asleep – your hair auburn-red over the counterpane,
their faces spellbound. And I called along the alleys
of the rain and out across the tenements of clouds
to where you lay sleeping, thinking not to wake you but
just to stand for a heartbeat at the corner of your dreams.
The Parting Glass at Peadar O’Donnell’s Bar, Derry