Poor Old Soul

Simon Armitage
‘You’ll enjoy it,’ I say, when the carer arrives
and wants to wheel him to the park. I watch him
puzzling with the leather buttons
on his favourite coat, fingers like sticks of chalk.
Coming home from a week abroad I find him
hunched and skeletal under a pile of clothes,
a Saxon king unearthed in a ditch.
‘I ran out of biscuits,’ he says, 
‘and the telly’s on – I couldn’t make it stop.’
When I throw back the curtains, morning
bursts like a water balloon before he can rig up 
his tatty umbrella of epidermis and bone.
Page 48, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 120
Issue 120

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 120:

Edited by Vona Groarke

Vona Groarke's final issue as editor is packed with new poems from leading contemporary poets, including Simon Armitage, Sinéad Morrissey, Colette Bryce, Paul Muldoon, Sean O'Brien and Caitríona O'Reilly. Books reviewed include new work from Derek Mahon, Bernard O'Donoghue, Rita Ann Higgins, Martina Evans, Denise Riley and the 2016 Forward Prize winner Vahni Capildeo. The centrepiece of the issue is an interview with Paul Muldoon in which the Armagh maestro shares his thoughts on subjects as diverse as public surveillance, the economic down-turn, and the exclamation mark. The cover image is by photographer Justyna Kielbowicz, and the issue also contains award-winning artwork from Sven Sandberg, Aoife Dunne, Jane Rainey, and Michelle Hall. Instead of an editorial, Vona herself answers the questionnaire she put to the contributors of Poetry Ireland Review Issue 118: The Rising Generation.