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Certain Shore


The best of Ulster holidays,

clear widespread space, our children’s choice,

was barren beaches, furlongs sand,

sprawl spanned days spent North Antrim coast,

Portstewart Strand - we sail next week.

That all was thirty years ago -

see all the aunties in one go,

while we built castles in the air

and kids used spades to dig the grains -

so soon we ferry back again

to meet aunts’ offspring, old as us.

Back then we paced in larger place,

the Giant’s Causeway, footsteps marked

by Finn MacCool through channel leap,

while grandad tasted Bushmills malt,

the samples tested time again.

That was our early morning tour,

before we headed for the shore,

and he in charge of kids, while aunts

was call of duty, we adults.

Still, was it whisky, his downfall,

the drams that damned him, fall asleep,

forget that he was charged to keep

his eyes wide open for the tide?

We choose recall, dunes, marram grass,

but close our minds to stretching reach,

the children stranded, left alone

until we found them, grandad’s doze.

They never knew they were alone,

stranded on Portstewart Strand.


Published by Medusa’s Kitchen

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