Diaspora

Issue FivePoetry

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By Nessa O’Mahony

 

His regular spot;
curled foetus-tight,
back to the wall
at the end of the canal,
near the bridge
at Baggot Street.

 

Paper cup beneath his chin,
no buttercup glow
unless from 50 cent
someone dropped in.

 

“Change, spare change”
may be the only words
he knows in the mother tongue
of those who pass,
who stop at the kiosk
for a latte grande.

 

I fish a coin out, fair exchange
for the information that I seek.
He cannot read my lips,
pushes back the tip
of his scraggy wool cap.

 

I repeat;
his faces lights up
as he pronounces ‘Bosnia
as if the syllables
were a sweet on his tongue

 

in the November hoar
of a Dublin morning,
his brave new world
passing by.

Artwork by Kathryn Lamont.