Sunlight North Dublin
stops me here momentarily
looking up at a tenement block.
Damp baby sleep suits, teenagers’ jeans,
mum’s skirts hang on improvised
washing lines on thin balconies.
Each floor sinks into the one below.
Each wall home to graffiti tags.
Rubbish stirs in the breeze.
The sunlight seems stronger
for being squeezed in the gap
between this block and a stark silhouette
of a city-grime encrusted church
putting these lives in shadow.
There was no big bang
just a series of small ones
in his morning’s kitchen clattering and curses
that moved the cats to retreat.
Two pairs of green eyes watched her
close the door between them.
Before providing comfort
she stabbed at the stereo’s buttons
for the radio to give
a sheen of anti-listening.
Emma Lee’s publications include “The Significance of a Dress” (Arachne, 2020) and "Ghosts in the Desert" (IDP, 2015). She co-edited “Over Land, Over Sea,” (Five Leaves, 2015), was Reviews Editor for The Blue Nib, reviews for magazines and blogs at https://emmalee1.wordpress.com.