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The Possibility of Forgiveness

by john robert grogan


After ‘I wish I could write to you from underwater’.

— Ada Limón

When it boils down to it, this house is not mine,

nor the bathtub, not even the children’s voices

carried on the wind across the treetops to my tired

ears. I wish I could write from under this water,

where for now, my longing is drowned. This evening, resolved to my place in this,

I am still watchful, a masked owl in my curious roost. This afternoon was wordless. You lay sleeping,

beautifully being, motionless on the lounge. I prepared a slow-cooked experiment

for dinner, with a side of autumn chill. As the day ran away, I ate half an easter egg

and let the same cup of tea go cold five times,

my thoughts hanging like a petrel in sea-spray


at the Cliffs of Moher, myself at eight or ten years old,

bird-watching on the break wall at Dun Laoghaire,


focused on the wind, the numbness of my face.

If, from tonight’s dreams, I should return,


I would fancy myself a giant willow,

gnarled and eerie, draped in splendid greens,


old man’s beard, painted in lichens, mosses

clinging to my dreadlocked branches.


There’s always a possibility,

when I find sleep below the full-fat moon


and the flat-bottomed clouds, that I’ll forgive

the noisy dirt-bike three blocks over,


and the constant hiss of tyres on wet asphalt,

our neighbour’s phlegmy bark,


even, the lorikeets screech in the canopy

that jolts my foreign body.

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Image by Bree Anne
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