The Brodie Press
Cliffs of Moher
Gerry, aged eighty-two, wandered to the edge
beyond warning signs used for target practice,
peered at the hungry depth, measured it in his head -
‘ten times the height of my home’,
stood quietly out of sight,
until he was missed and a cry went up,
‘There he is!’ A surge of relief, but not in him.
He sat down to dangle his legs.
The cliffs were speaking; he felt through his hands
their sandstone and their shale,
the coterminous thin cap of green.
It was a perfect vertical. Land sliced at the rim.
He gazed downwards at nocturnal blue.
‘Jerry?’ Why didn’t he come?
‘He’s admiring the scenery,’ said one of his group.
They gathered, smiling at his pleasure.
He’d never taken such an interest before,
at Dingle, the Burren, he’d passed on through,
sat bothersome on the coach,
fussed at the short stops on the way,
complained of thirst, the inflexible seats.
Now the Cliffs of Moher fell down at his feet,
he was sitting on the edge of the world.

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