The third of twelve poems from Angela Alaimo O’Donnell’s suite of poems, “Crossing Ireland.” More about Angela Alaimo O’Donnell
Yer makin’ the Yanks’ Tour, are ye?
Peadar said, Cian smiling behind the bar
pouring 4 pints for his new American friends,
our 100-mile drive from Kerry to here
amusing to a man for whom the next
county is another country away.
He told us the history of the pub,
the clock that stopped at Mholly’s daughter’s birth
a century gone, ticked past the time
while he walked us from stone room to stone room
naming the faces in the Stations on the walls,
a Celtic Virgil leading a mis-guided tour.
All the while we drank the famous Guinness
drawn from Mholly’s lines laid long ago
making it the best on the Spidéil Road,
while we argued poetry, Barack O’Bama,
the slant of the light on Conemara cliffs,
no new thing fine as the old.
What he knew he knew sure as his own hand
and wouldn’t take no for an answer:
Heaney was a hack, Donegal men dishonest,
and An Clochán as far as you’ll need to go
should you need to leave home for awhile
and you know you’ll be needing to come back.