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image book cover Sometimes in Winter by Conan Kennedy

C h r i s t m a s   i n   R a t h m i n e s

In Castlewood Avenue I passed
A small, eastern looking family,
She pregnant, he with a smile
Seeking friendship
And I nodded my Mayo man’s nod
Which means everything, and nothing.
It was the night before Christmas.
I carried a long red candle,
Found at last in the Swan Centre.
Being a traditional man
I would light it in the window,
That, at least, was the plan.
But then, later, crowds gathered in the house,
Emigrant relatives returned from far countries,
Their younger selves gift wrapped in middleage,
And what with a few beers, and bottles of wine,
And the flicking of the photo album page,
I forgot to light the fecking candle.
It haunted me, that lapse,
All Christmas Day I saw in my mind
A small, eastern looking family,
She pregnant, he with a smile
Seeking friendship.
And that night in the merriment
I felt Jesus in the dark outside
Trudging Castlewood Avenue
Searching for my soul, in vain.


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