Our Sad Captain
or: Liam Cunningham’s Middle-aged Ladies Admirers Club
It’s the parti-coloured beard that does us in,
renders us tender and credulous –
a man we’d go to in a crisis
because he’d look down, frowning with concern
from his six foot one (yes,
we’ve each checked the online movie database).
Alright, I should come clean: not us
but I – I want to calm his nervous hands.
In interviews, they’re never still – holding a mic, a cigarette,
brushing the rough patch on his neck where he forgot to shave,
stroking the parti-coloured beard like the piebald knight
in Parzival’s tall tale
and that’s what I want to think him, too – medieval,
honourable – not him, of course, let me explain:
it’s not the man, it’s Liam Cunningham
as priest, as onion knight, as captain of a submarine,
bearded, in uniform, hard as fuck the boy fans claim,
but surely prone to weeping
if his daughter smiles at him. No, not the man –
the parts he plays. But it’s his parti-coloured beard
that does me in. I’m not alone like this, tender and credulous,
for here’s a captain we can all rely on to be good,
someone we won’t need to take care of –
at last a man it’s safe for us to love.
This tender madness
for a man in jeans,
a man in tight uniform; a man
displaying a delicate line of bicep,
tattoos on a taut muscled forearm,
and the arse – oh, a man’s tight buttocks
in loose jeans as he walks past.
How exquisite they all look from behind.
Jasmine Donahaye’s memoir, Losing Israel, is published by Seren in May 2015. She is the author of two poetry collections: Self-portrait as Ruth (Salt, 2009), and Misappropriations (Parthian, 2006); a biography of the writer Lily Tobias, The Greatest Need (Honno, 2015), and a cultural study, Whose People? Wales, Israel, Palestine (University of Wales Press, 2012). @JasmineDonahaye