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For Sarah Selzer

The arithmetic suggests you might have been

conceived on the night ferry to Dublin.

That, with a drive across the republic

in August, and a week of spuds and Guinness,

of Sweet Afton’s and of Passing Clouds,

of fuchsias, escaped from some gentry’s garden,

purpling wild and red down narrow lanes

where family men fought a ragged war,

rocks at Hell’s Mouth, white and bleached as bones,

the lullaby lapping of Bantry Bay,

and sailing home across a violent sea

to our newly decorated, newly

furnished south-facing flat at the top

of an old house almost as tall as its trees,

may explain your sureness with words and people,

with colours, and textures, and keepsakes,

your sense of irony, of justice,

of the absurd, and your certainty

that what matters most is love and kindness.

© Copyright David Selzer
1 Response
  • Elise Oliver
    January 3, 2022

    All of Ireland’s Ambiguous Airs
    What a lovely homage to your daughter. The last five lines brought a tear to my eye, although the juxtaposition with having been conceived ‘after a week of spuds and Guinness’ came as an unexpected and delightful surprise.

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