Monday, April 23, 2012

The Leaving, 1973*

The Leaving, 1973

I never miched before, so it feels strange,
too easy to stay in my seat as the bus pulls
away from my stop (Sandford Park, where the push
is on for the Leaving Cert.). Well out of range,
I hop off, drift downstream on Grafton Street’s
quick/slow shuffling pavements, where I catch
the breath of roasted coffee beans and let
Bewley’s (The Church of Take-The-Weight-Off-Your-Feet)

inhale me. In the basement, lunch money spent
on hot milky coffee and buns, I begin to orient
myself among the tidal people, drag and flow
of conversation, places and to be or go.
For three weeks I hold this course, till I can say
I sat for my Leaving in Bewley’s Oriental Café.

*for Shakespeare on his 448th birthday
who understood 
the whining schoolboy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school

No comments: