Saturday, 29 July 2017

A poem by Órla Fay


Each time I cross the bridge
I meet myself there with a bicycle,
twenty three summers ago in the dawn light.
Had we even slept at all that night?
We stayed up late smoking cigarettes
listening to the radio, enchanted
by blackbird singing in the dead of night
as the barely dark darkness left.
All of us in that one little room
where everything happened.
How big it seems now

How final that we can never be there again
and yet how alive it is in memory,
more vibrant and real for its weight
in realisation . Nobody could have told me
then that years later I would be standing
outside as I now am, looking in on myself.
But there was one night when I was fifteen
with my ears recently pierced – I’d taken
a stud out to clean and fainted trying to put
it back in place. Coming to I swore I’d seen a ghost,
an apparition or a reflection in the window glass.

Órla Fay is the editor of Boyne Berries Magazine and the secretary of Boyne Writers Group. Recently her work has appeared in The Ogham Stone, A New Ulster, The Honest Ulsterman and is forthcoming in The Rose Magazine. Órla had poems long listed in The Fish Poetry Prize 2017 and The Anthony Cronin International Poetry Award 2017. She recorded her poem Lau Tzu at the Door for Lagan Online's Poetry Day Ireland Mix Tape 2017. She is currently editing a special issue of Boyne Berries that will commemorate the centenary of the death of the County Meath poet Francis Ledwidge. Órla keeps a blog at

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