Poem Rhapsody in Pink
In the Rotunda delivery suite Muffled midsummer sounds
Seep through an eighteenth-century sash.
Your clarinet solo a police siren, That ambulance horn a baritone sax, The traffic’s tympani and trombones
With jackhammers, wrecking balls, And the street-painter’s Christ Of a pro-life procession.
A Roma there on cardboard, a barber Chorus, a barefoot clubber Clutching her heels, and a vixen
From the Garden of Remembrance Cat-walking the tramlines
En route from Chinatown
To a bin in Little Africa.
This is for you, a daughter’s daughter, My own, my amniotic city
As the midwives wash you briskly Within sight of a freshwater faucet Where I’d meet my own granddad, Gabardine open, tie thrown back, And humming good old Gershwin At the marble tub of the font.
He remembered drinking from it Like a street-corner baptistry Among draft-horses twenty hands high
Where you come gushing now, brand-new,
With a widow’s peak and wizened feet And seeing the world in sepia.
Aidan Mathews is a poet, dramatist and fiction writer whose most recent collection Strictly No Poetry (Lilliput Press ) was published last year