An Encounter. A poem by Billy O Hanluain

His silhouette dark
under the green canopy
of Poddle Park.
Walking towards me,
the light played tricks
around him, like
the shuffling alphbet
of an eye test. He
come into focus.

Fifteen years since
since we’d sat with
tin foil wrapped sandwiches
in a staff room together.
Both of us uncertain;
how to be teachers
in the same school
where once
we’d been students.

A child of his own now,
heralding him,
delirious on a scooter.

The look on his face
said he remembered
me like a punch line.
The joke though,
he couldn’t recall.
With a blink and a twitch,
He got me.

We shot a few rounds
of the breeze.
Blue chalked
our banter, pocketed a
few easy anecdotes.
A game of
not much to say.
Words to unstitch the
silence of quarantine.

“No Daddy. Stop it. I am
going to tell Mam what you

The girl’s scooter,
temper thrown at the
trunk of a tree.
in the act.
He pulled away
from me panting
his embarrassment
like a furtive pleasure,
flooded with shame
once it is over.

She had seen her daddy
hands with a stranger.

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