Alice O. Howell   


AT THE PUB: Dingle



I sit in my wet coat beside old Sean Flynn

            at the peatfire it is

and listen to his toothless mouth


taste the past


            we talk: I question life

            and he answers the sea

            the spray of it yet blue and squint in his eyes

            and low tide in his blood


men in great gumboots turned at the cuff

and all in black, wearing their old wise caps

            some red-headed      pale and proud

track more mud through the door yet open

to the mist and summer sheen of bottle green

            and quaff their dark-foamed Guiness

the peats smoke and glow


through the gruff and gentle Gaelic tongue on them

and Sean Flynn crinkle-eyes me

because I am a fine stout woman he says

and he places his thick hand upon my thigh many times

(for emphasis, mind you!)


            not as a lecher, I am thinking

            but the way in his youth

            he might have held the rail on deck in a fair wind

            or turned a big white loaf of bread

            before cutting it

and a man at the bar mentions to a stranger come in

that the tide is not out entirely.


Alice O. Howell
"Look for the sacred in the commonplace!" :)