They wander the streets with me, searching
for a steering wheel, a trolley, a pram, a hand.
I give them the edge of my scarf, the belt
on my coat, the button on my lapel, stuff them
in my pockets to burrow in the debris of home
receipts from that new old-fashioned sweet shop
wet wipes used for sticky fingers or muddy hands
tags from new toys, tickets, coins. But it is no use.
Skin cracked, knuckles raw, fingertips barbed
like fishhooks from bottles plunged and scrubbed
in scalding water, my hands will not rest until
I give them something to do. So I buy them
a keychain teddy bear and tell them it’s for you.
Poetry Ireland Review Issue 135:
Issue 135 of Poetry Ireland Review, edited by Colette Bryce, features new poems from Róisín Tierney, Colm Tóibín, Tara Bergin, Louis de Paor, Neetha Kunaratnam, Scott McKendry, Lianne O'Hara, and many others. Books reviewed in this issue include the latest titles from James Harpur, Kayo Chingonyi, Dairena Ní Chinnéide, and Mary O'Donnell, along with the debut collections from Audrey Molloy, Victoria Kennefick, Aoife Lyall, and Gail McConnell. In essays, Vona Groarke takes WB Yeats's 'A Prayer for my Daughter' to task, and Annemarie Ní Churreáin recounts the personal and political revelations that form the backdrop to her latest collection, The Poison Glen. Issue 135 also features artwork from the outstanding shortlist for the 2021 Zurich Portrait Prize, courtesy of Jonathan Mayhew.