She heard him fall in. Now he’s
lying, face down, in the hall. On
she sits, in her room made for sitting,
fingers wrapped round the remote.
Bid long ago quit getting Michael
back onto his feet.
She untwists the cap,
pours her last wine
of the night (usually two
but tonight a small third,
for the evening that’s in it),
turns up the TV.
This is the year of The Gathering.
Come visit us, please.
The Irish need bucks. Give us
your poor huddled masses
of cares — for a week; better, two — and
we’ll show you how to hightail them.
We have a word for our way, we call it the c —
Enough, says Bid to herself. In English,
that word sounds a lot like the noise
a thing makes as it breaks.
But she’s not getting caught in all that.
Try the news. The new pope.
All about him since the smoke
went up on Wednesday. Why call it white
when the whole world can see
how it’s grey? Fifty shades of it,
thinks Bid with a grin, as she flicks:
That’s all we get from that machine
of old men. She’s done time with that book
and knows the suck of sick power when she sees it.
Cardinals bend over, kissing his ring.
Down town, sirens scream.
The kids swarm, swigging cider in fields
shots and cocaine and gin.
Bid’s boy, Jim, bangs his glass
on the bar, just like his father, and his
before him, wipes his mouth
with the back of his hand,
gives his grin.
On the box, two Celtic cubs
of the boom, Emer and Sean,
seek TV advice on building
their dream. Stay in London?
Away again to the sun? Heart
bleeds for you, hun, mutters
Bid, settling in on “The Late Late”,
a repeat, where Justin,
the latest poptastic
treat, downs a Guinness in one,
the audience cheering him on.
In the pub, Jim leans in
through the heaving crowd,
the music too loud, tips
the barman his wink. One
more for the road. Same again.
~ ~ ~