Paul Durcan

1944 / Dublin

The Head Transplant

The doctor said to me: Your father needs a new head. So I said to the doctor: You can give him my head.

My days were numbered - broken marriage, cancer, False teeth, bad dreams- so 'Yes' was his answer.

Now I lie in my bed wondering away in my head What will my father look like with his new head?

Will he look like a bull with the head of a daffodil

Or like a nonagenarian pontiff with the head of a harlot?

Or like a heavyweight weightlifter with the head of a fox Or like a withered, aged, tree with the sun in its branches?

My dreams and memories will percolate down his legs and arms; My ideas will seep down his spine like the roots of a tree.

And my eyes will swivel in obeisance to their new rotator.

His friends will say: 'Quite remarkable the change in Old Harry -

His new head seems to be doing him the world of good.

Jolly lucky that blackguard son of his snuffed it when he did.'

And I, when I'm dead, will walk alone in the graveyard, A ghost with no head, an authentic hobgoblin,

A truly real Irishman, a giolla gan ceann.
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