Backflip, Duncan MS

Joe Wilkins
          after the photograph by Brandon Thibodeaux
For the trailer’s cement shoes 
                                                                    just off plumb 
in the Mississippi mud. For snaking from the underfloor  
the three bore PVC that turns 
                                                    & ten-odd inches on 
turns again, like it’s going somewhere 
other than air. 
            For the sagging co-ax, the naked copper ground, 
for off in the witchgrass that augury of rot-boards that once, surely, 
meant something to someone – please, 
For the rope & tarp roof, the tired windows, the offset face 
it all makes, perfect frown 
                                                   of a flying boy.
For the air above, 
                           & the air below, the boy’s shadow resting 
on a ratty mattress.
                                       For the mattress springs, 
their every rusting curve yet bearing 
so many tons of gone-by love, 
                                                     days of ropey rain 
& Delta sun, a thousand & one pops & locks, 
saults & wheels, kicks & flips, 
                                                                                 & this backflip –
shake & sag of the boy’s jeans, white tee whistling 
around his skinny frame, arms wide, 
fingers splayed –
                                                      he’s going to land
this backflip, if he ever 
lands this backflip. 
Page 105, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 124
Issue 124

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 124:

Edited by Eavan Boland

Poetry Ireland Review 124 contains new poems from Paula Meehan, Ciarán O'Rourke, Lizzy Nichols, Mark Ward, Gabriel Rosenstock, Özgecan Kesici, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and many other compelling voices. Also included is Eilean Ni Chuilleanáin's remembrance of her Cork childhood, excerpted from The Vibrant House: Irish Writing and Domestic Space, a book of essays reviewed in issue 124 by Caitríona O'Reilly. Other books considered in this issue include collections from Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Mark Granier, Tara Bergin, The Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets, and the Collected Poems of the late Dennis O'Driscoll, and there's also a short interview with Thomas Kinsella along with an essay on Kinsella as poet and civil servant. Another Kinsella is this issue’s Featured Poet, Alice Kinsella, and all artwork for the issue is supplied by artists associated with the Olivier Cornet Gallery on Great Denmark Street, around the corner from Poetry Ireland.

Available now to purchase online or in all good bookstores.