Three years after her classmate Johnny,
who also loved dancing,
dies in junior infants of cancer,
my daughter’s in the back of our car after school,
and we’re stalled at the lights,
& we’re all looking out
at the afternoon sky over the Wicklow Mountains.
Wow, says my wife, the driver,
see how those clouds
hang so low on The Sugarloaf, & the gold
of the sun right through them, like a crown
for the mountain? Isn’t it striking,
so rich & so colourful,
like you’d see in a gallery?
Every year, says my eight-year-old daughter,
when it’s Johnny’s Anniversary,
the clouds float down
From heaven with Johnny floating
down on them so he can see his friends
and family & say hi.
Really?, say I out of curiosity,
but also mild concern…
…What else happens on Johnny’s Anniversary?
Oh, says she, in the nighttime
Johnny jumps out of his grave
and dances in the moonlight
to his favourite music
like Michael Jackson
for a while
and when he finishes dancing the moon applauds
and so do the yews & so do the crows & the cows
and the toads & the ferns
and so do all the other dead people in the graveyard who’ve been
watching him dancing away….
And I say Really? Why’s that?
– Cos it’s someone else’s turn the next night
and everyone has to get a clap & a hip-hip-hurrah
when it’s their turn
Poetry Day Ireland e-book giveaway!
It’s #PoetryDayIRL – & I’m giving away a sampler e-book – The Four Honesties – to celebrate. Click through link below & enjoy – its a short read & I write poetry for everybody, not just for toffs! Enjoy, & all likes, shares, feedback hugely appreciated!