A poem by Tim O’Leary

Walking to the Bridge

What succour is it easy
to give back, when you’ve lost count
of the times she’s forgotten
what her memories fed her?
How lucky she was.

How long will her last legs last,
or the will to trust my care?
Her thankyous mean as much as
amens muttered during mass –
religiously bare.

Each kiss is a kiss goodbye,
as every moment withers
in this dumbing of her days.
Stymied at the stream’s edge, I
see pink ripples split

on the strict stone pier, then worm
together, swollen-hearted,
writhing between bank and berm –
boneless flesh for gulping bird
and skulking seasons.
(first published in Poetry Salzburg Review 17, Spring 2010)
Tim O’Leary is a photographer, former archaeologist, and recent recruit to poetry. Recent commendations/shortlistings have been at the Grist Festival in England, in Ireland at Strokestown and the Munster Literary Festival, and in Italy at Poetry on the Lake 2011, 2012.

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