AT GRATTAN ROAD

The tide is out at Grattan Road today.

The wrinkled sand lying bare and grey as skin

one glimpses in long-wards where old women

discard their quilts and call you close to say

they know your face but then a vacant stare.

A mist is building, yet the light streams through

here and there along the causeway to

the island and in beams across to Clare.

That photograph, same spot but years ago,

Mother, her sister, daughters, only son.

Two smiling women, summer frocks. One gone,

the other in a London nursing home.

From up the shore the pungency of rot,

a lobster-boat from Claddagh hauling pots.