Michael Nolan (b. 1950, in Dublin) recently retired from a lifetime spent in education. He was Principal of a Jesuit Special School for nearly the last twenty years of his teaching career. He also studied Law and was called to the Irish Bar. He has lifelong interest in writing and literature.
The inevitable answer must be that there is no question-
none, at least as perfect as a leaf, or obvious as a blade.
They have all put their penny’s worth in, men and women
as they are, whose vision is the question and the answer.
Hannah James John Jane Hypatia Miguel Epicurus F.Scott
Simon Zeno Elizabeth Vladimir Dante Fyodor J.D. William
Avicenna Anne Thomas Ayn Confucius Dame Mary Mark
Rene Paul Plato Aristotle Marcel Bob Lenny Joanie Neil.
Each as human as the next, as one they give an answer
to the leaf, the blade, the new new born swaddling babe.
For a reason I left many out and you Shakespeare, you
never raised a question, only perfect existential answers.
Married forty three year ago today-
aware only of the uncomfortable steely grey suit
my mother had chosen,
I entered their bedroom.
She lay swaddled in a candlewick.
“I’m going now Ma” I said,
“I never want to see you again”, she said.
“Ah May”, he said,” you don’t really mean that”.
He drove me as far as O’Connell Street,
crossing the Liffey was beyond him.
Strolling the rest of the way towards Easrfort
to sit my finals, I felt liberated and noticed everything.
Afterwards,my nearly brother-in-law (doubling up as Best Man)
greeted me at the church, gave me a swift one over,
seemed to approve of mothers choice and led me to my seat.
A choir struck up the Bridal March
and we were married
On that sunny day at the reception, a friend told me
my shoulders looked broad on the Altar.
I still don’t know what he meant, maybe mother’s suit.