Mrs. Reardon walks down the pavement
which is more broken now than when
she pushed four different children in their prams,
two of whom will be at the funeral today,
of the man she married
because the man she loved married her friend.
Her friend died last year and the man she loved
will also be at the funeral of the man she married.
The man she loved realized too late, too late
that he cared less for the woman he married
than for Patsie Reardon, née Walsh, of days long gone.
Mrs. Reardon and the man she still loved
passed on this street with their children in prams,
then he with a son and football and she with ballet shoes and a daughter
then walking with further sons and daughters, some taller than either of them.
Would he, after the funeral and after due time . . . ?
Her heart and stomach were afraid and light and excited.
Or will the formal reserve they had cultivated like a shell
be now so hard they can no longer break through it?
Were they still the two who had once loved each other?
His once hair . . . her once taut skin . . .
Kieran Egan lives in Vancouver, Canada. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Quills (Canada), Literary Review of Canada, Dalhousie Review (Canada), High Window (UK), Orbis (UK), Raintown Review (USA), Envoi (UK), Shot Glass Journal (USA), Qwerty (Canada), Snapdragon (USA), The Antigonish Review (Canada), Acumen (UK), Canadian Quarterly and The Interpreter’s House (U.K); also shortlisted for the John W. Bilsland Literary Award, 2017 and for the TLS Mick Imlah prize 2017.