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by mairéad o'sullivan

Only two years since I got my license,

I drive the road winding to the house

my friend rents with the fella

she had a baby with in college.

My family don’t know

in those days I used disappear.

Into houses I had no business in,

with men I had no business with.

Into wine, into whiskey,

into darkness in which I wanted

to kill my thoughts it hurt to hear.

We switch seats and my friend drives

N plates up, to a public garden in South Kerry.

The baby in the back is seven.

We have a nice walk.

There is nothing here to make

my yuppie people proud,

they’ve deemed the quiet life beneath us.

‘Tis well for some to sell out leisure

then seek my art at funerals.

For here I am, at twenty-eight,

the baby in the back is seven.

My car might be getting on

but I drove her here myself, full license.

The friend and fella never wavered

next year they’re getting married,

she asked me to arrange some flowers

and it really was a lovely walk.

The mountains shelter us, sublime,

and once upon there was a time

when all I tried to touch turned wrong

And I never dreamt I’d live so long.


Mairéad lives in Killarney, Co. Kerry and works in hospitality. Her poem 'Skywalk' appeared in Poesis (The Madrigal, May 2022) and she has a short story forthcoming in Otherverse.


Image by Bree Anne
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