Poem 23, June 23    

Two young ladies on a sidewalk  

I stop & wait while they walk
down the hill toward me.  

It is not the first time
young ladies have turned my thoughts
toward Michael Hartnett who grew up
in the Maiden Street area of Newcastle West
in old County Limerick, Ireland.  

The irony of Michael’s Limerick
birthplace is that he became a poet.
The irony of his poetry to younger women
is his vents of anger
for his own mistakes,
even addressing his daughter,
while advancing his mastery of the line.  

The two young ladies
on the sidewalk and his poetry,
mostly written out of love when he was a sad,
lonely man,
have little to do with me,
unless the title of one
of his books counts for something.  

His life does not parallel mine.
The girls on the sidewalk
can never be the subject
of his poetry,
for the dead do not write
across the page & down.
I am happy when I see them behind me.
I am not lonely
and they are beautiful
to behold.