by Eimear Bourke
For months daidí and I have been coming to this place
Meath isn’t a land-locked county
Though most Dubliners think it is
“Stop the land-grab”; I remember conspiracy, election leaflets of old.
Louth trying to rob us of our Laytown, Mornington and Bettystown.
That said, that’s not where we go.
Smelly towels in the boot. Flip flops on feet.
We drive a longer route…
A quieter, sacred place in mind.
Naked toes on the dash
Remnants of sand on the mat below
Chapman lyrics reverberating in the metal box,
“Go sell your soul and keep your shell”
October mornings this place is deserted.
Save for broken glass in the car park, from drinks the night before.
There’s a crispness to the air.
Across it cuts the stench of manure.
Sometimes cycle-dads whizz past.
Othertimes we meet the old lady with her thermos and sangiches.
But this morning it’s just you and I.
Mourne Mountains to the left.
Clogherhead pier to the right.
The jolt of ice-water hits you toe-first
Like a whiskey shot in reverse.
Warming your belly all the same.
Out here it’s just me.
Thinking again about the salinity of blood and seawater.
When all of a sudden I sea you.
Humanoid, with whiskers.
I could touch you if I reached out my arm.
And, in this moment,
I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw a flipper.
Eimear Bourke is an Irish idealist and perpetual dreamer. Raised in Navan, Co. Meath, she currently lives with her girlfriend in Dublin 6W. Driven by a belief in purpose and fatalism, her poems are shaped by themes such as nature, interpersonal relationships, sexuality and memory. She is inspired by Rita Ann Higgins and Yrsa Daley-Ward. Her upcoming work can be read in the Paragon Press Journal, Impossible Archetype, Automatic Pilot, The Selkie and Poethead.