A Closing Scene

On a quiet street where old ghosts meet

I see her walking now – Patrick Kavanagh 

After the Bunuel film 

they walked in the half-glow of sodium light.

It wasn’t Sunday but a Sunday hush followed them 

through backstreets, black lanes where old trades 

were at the end of their time 

and a music hall entrance long ago had a sign 

that read: “No skirt-hoops and no swords.

Standing room only for the Hallelujah Chorus”.  

Above the inner city steeple

the multiplying gulls were peeking 

to see who was slouching down Lord Edward Street 

or taking shelter behind the cathedral. 

On Ormond Quay they quickened their steps,

finding their way among the shifty spectres

of Vikings and Insurrectionists –  

ghosts who appeared on ground 

where a treasure hunt would yield antiquities, the past 

or traces of it in broken bits. 

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