The chimney pots of stony smoky Cork indicate
Tenants caught in the Jaws of this Time of the Century:
Burning soft Polish coal in bright fireplaces
“Visitors welcome – rest your weary bones!”
While clever son Joe in Jeans and Just-right Sneakers
Ending varnishing the staircase rail, sharply
Clatters the squeaky front door- satisfied, pint-bound.
Four years later a second coat and clatter,
“Rumour has it they’ll restart the mill this year
I must get a job I’ll soon be past my prime
(And never earned a crust)
Surely they wouldn’t let that happen?”
“Love me” said the President
Love us all” said the Pope
At the beginning of the tunnel of love the odour of decay
At the end the dustbin of history.