As one put drunk into the back of a parent’s car—
seized, it would seem, by the adolescent desire

to be reminded of one’s failings—this morning
saw me return to Bambooland near John Martin Gardens.

I went alone, spurred as I had been in previous years
by the cousin who supplied the Sprite bottle-lung, the beer,

the suite of cobbled furniture pilfered out of skips.
Back then we’d sit for hours atop broken doors & pallets

until one of us, suddenly compelled to danger,
would gaze square into the bamboo void and bid the other,

‘Jump!’ as though nothing at all would stop us;
as though neither one had thought, like Orpheus,

that to descend in order to retrieve might leave us
head-propped against the lyre—might see us

ascend again with scuffmarks wound beneath the skin,
and trailed by the scents of bamboo, oak & whin.

This poem was first published in Issue 119 of Poetry Ireland Review. You can purchase it here.

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