A Poetry Reading

They came from Dublin
from Wexford, from Killmore Quay
from the Scottish highlands
and from holy Jerusalem over the  sea
youngsters mainly, but here and there a head of gray
to an evening of poetry
in a centuries old hall
whose yellowed floors and sculpted ceilings
had housed a jail, survived a famine
whose walls were stained with years
of Irish blood and tears

 

One lass bravely recalled a childhood abuse
smothered by pillowed years of shame and guilt
a hairy man shouted testosterone phrases
like a peacock strutting
at us and at his plain compliant partner
 

An English girl remembered her
intellectual and sexual awakenings
in libraries and bookstores
a Scotsman spoke of the winds on the moor
an Israeli painted word pictures of Judean hills
a city lassie fondly joked about her little car
 

Just a poetry evening
but the walls listened gravely
in their understanding Irish way
sometimes sighing
at times shedding a new silent tear
 

Only a few pages torn from unfinished books
nothing new was said really
for most of them, only the walls
and their memories live on

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© Johnmichael Simon

2004

.