Paul Durcan

1944 / Dublin

The Day Kerry Became Dublin

I was reading gas meters in Rialto
- In and out the keeled-over, weeping dustbins -
When, through the open doorway of the woman in the green tracksuit
Who's six feet tall and who has nine kids,
I heard a newsreader on the radio announcing
That the Bishop of Kerry had been appointed Archbishop of Dublin.
I couldn't help thinking that her bottom
Seemed to be independent of the rest of her body,
And how nice it would be to shake a leg with her
In a ballroom on a Sunday afternoon
Or to waltz with her soul at the bottom of the sea.
'Isn't that gas?' - she sizzles -
'Making the Bishop of Kerry the Archbishop of Dublin!'
Under her gas meter I get down on my knees
And say a prayer to the side-altars of her thighs,
And the three-light windows of her breasts.
Excuse me, may I beam my torch in your crypt?
I go to Mass every morning, but I know no more
About the Archbishop of Dublin than I do about the Pope of Rome.
Still, I often think it would be
Uplifting to meet the Dalai Lama,
And to go to bed for ever with the woman of my dreams,
And scatter the world with my children.
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