Two Women at the Window

                     A response to Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s painting


The two of them are looking out at something
Or someone. The younger lady leans forward,
Hand supporting her chin, shoulders bare,
Blush of rose to mark her bosom, bronze braid
Catching the folds on her dress. The older lady
Holds the shutter ajar, stretches her head shawl
To cover her nose and mouth. We can only guess
What’s happening
                                          On the street below.
The funny bits of the day: young men throwing
Kisses up at them, Don Andrés walking his dog,
The barber-surgeon crossing the street for another drink.
On the other hand, they could be laughing at me
For staring at them. The older lady thinking I’m hilarious.
The younger just amused.

Page 40, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 123
Issue 123

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 123:

Edited by Eavan Boland

Among the poets offering new work in the final Poetry Ireland Review of 2017 are Orla Martin, Catherine Phil MacCarthy, Harry Clifton,  Erin Halliday, Alan Titley, and Nan Cohen, while the Featured Poet is Belfast sensation Stephen Sexton. The books reviewed in this issue include new titles from Michael O'Loughlin, the late John  Montague, Biddy Jenkinson, Aifric Mac Aodha, Mark Roper, and Colette Bryce's Selected Poems.  Also included is editor Eavan Boland's examination of the life and work of the late John Ashbery, and the reasons for his pre-eminence among American poets of his century; and an evocative tribute to the late Gerard Fanning from his friend Gerard Smyth. The artwork for PIR 123 comes from the SO Fine Art Editions gallery, and the issue concludes with nine intriguing questions for Michael Longley, posed by fellow Belfast poets Stephen Connolly and Stephen Sexton – followed, of course, by nine intriguing answers.