Clifton Redmond is from Carlow town in Ireland. He is a member of the Carlow writers Co-op. He work had been published in The Metric, The Deepwater Literary Journal, Sixteen Magazine, The Nationalist, oddly enough the Shooters Digest and the Chronicle. He is currently working on a project with Carlow Writers Co-op and with the Visual Arts Gallery.
I used to see her face, her natural
beauty, a lonely portrait,
in geography books, on the cover
of history books, staunch
in culture. She wore
a gown of clove green,
honest, unique, innocent.
Now I see her on covers
of glossy magazines, photo-
shopped, fake, ravaged. Her
greyed threads hanging, under
headlines of corruption, lies,
manipulation. She sells herself
to the highest bidder,
a tarnished whore;
drags herself, begging,
through the open market streets.
As children we raced canoes,
bamboo shoots among the rapids,
launched from the rails
of the iron bridge, carefully
picking the most agile shuttles.
They rode the current relentless,
dipping, rising, dodging rocks.
When they tangled in the weeds
we hurled stones to free them.
Today I passed that bridge;
black paint lost on tired rails,
the whole scene weathered, I broke
a stick for old time’s sake,
dropped it in; the water slower
than I remember, and watched it
idly bobbing, until it caught the weeds.
Standing on a sidewalk; waiting
for a break in traffic; the width
of this interstate, so frustrating.
The flow of life and gasoline;
oversized heaps of metal, a non-stop
mesh of whizzing colours, going nowhere.
And if I ever get there,
I will look back at the opposite
kerb, where mothers tend
to pushchair children; I-pods
and I-phones are adjusted.
Rooted, subdued, people waiting, going nowhere.
I am tired of waiting for the lights
to change, tired of standing
on the wrong side of the road.
I hold a vigil for that little
green man, tiny messiah,
I wait for him.