Tim Cunningham – Lost in Transit

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATim Cunningham was born in Limerick and educated at C.B.S., Limerick and Birkbeck College, London. He has worked with a brewery, local government, the National Coal Board and in education. His first two poetry collections were brought out by Peterloo Poets: Don Marcelino’s Daughter (2001) and Unequal Thirds (2006); and the next three by Revival Press: Kyrie (2008), Siege (2012) and Almost Memories (2014). Website: www.timcunninghampoetry.co.uk

Lost in Transit

They call it a ‘figary’, something
Like the impulse Yeats’s ‘Airman’ had
Or a pregnant woman gasping
For chocolate on toast.

The girl was never drawn
To any ‘tumult in the clouds’,
Just an impromptu flight:
Aer Lingus, Dublin to Heathrow.

Whatever had possessed her?
A shopping spree in Harrod’s
And London’s West End
And it wasn’t even Christmas
Or the sales. And what was wrong
With Cleary’s or Brown Thomas,
Especially when sterling’s teeth
Were snapping at the euro?

So, hectic days, more hectic nights:
The B. Mus. and the National,
The South Bank, Barbican, Albert Hall,
The Tate. Oh yes, and shopping.

Small wonder she looked tired
On her return. To cap it all,
Her case was lost in transit. That
Explained her holding back the tears.

Her friend best understood, the friend
Who, months before, flew Shannon to Heathrow.
She too lost everything in transit
And knew the pain of coming home empty.

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