Michael Burke was born in Ballaghadereen in 1956 –one of ten children- moved to Galway in1974 – married Denise in 1979 -they have two sons in Scotland –at present they are living quietly /frugally in a two-storey house, with stairs, in the east of the city…although they have removed the wallpaper .
We drop him off
at the new bus station
carrying an oversized back pack
his printed bus ticket to Dublin airport
his college degree
his music i-pod and headphones
his return air ticket to Toronto
his two year Canadian visa
his bank savings statement
his travel insurance policy
his Apple laptop (with all his facebook friends)
his expectations and ambitions
his fears and misgivings
and for good measure
of our own anxieties
to his anxieties .
We hug him
feigning casual unconcern ,
say good luck,
not goodbye .
We assure him
that if things dont work out
he can come home
we kind of hope
in some vague way
it wont work out .
keep him here forever
kept him close
but that`s what parents,
flawed as anybody,
Jack`s a dull boy
There is something
of the houses
in our street
in abandoned anticipation
the enticing jingle
WARNING! Reproduction of these words is not allowed.
APPLES…ORANGES…BANANAS and CHOCOLATE
in the back of the car
the white Volkswagen beetle
outside Harrison’s pub
right where the OPW machine sank years before
with youthful enthusiasm
my brothers and I .
Abandoned for the post match analysis
at the bar counter ,
that lasts longer than the match itself ,
until one of us is nominated
to be the first
to be brave enough
and follow our father in
on the pretence of using the toilet .
We are rewarded with crisps and chocolate ,
a single bottle of FANTA orange ,
and the promise of heading home ,
All through the match
we were teased by the traders
competing with/matching the noise
enticing us to purchase
APPLES ORANGES BANANAS and CHOCOLATES
I read “Heading Away” and thought to myself, surely the other poems can not live up to this one,
so I’ll just comment on it. I was going to say something like “If only every child were born into
such a loving family,” Then I realized that is only partially true (It takes special ‘kids’ and special
parents to arrive at such a place) and I also realized it is not just the tale told that makes Heading Away such a grand success, it is the tale plus the magic pen that so deftly spilled the words.
That’s when I decided to read the next ones. I’m so glad I did. Jack’s a Dull Boy …I almost skipped it because I was afraid it was a story of failure, and today is not the day for that in my world.
How wrong I was. It is a wonderful poem! It speaks for itself. I love it!
APPLES ORANGES BANANAS and CHOCOLATES brings a smile. These poems are real and the poet brings the reader into the experience. That’s what poetry is all about!
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