Gulls land on the crumbs of the river
and last year’s bicycle gift
is wrapped yellow
in the reflections of the city, its wheels stirring
with each mullet’s lazy flip of the Liffey’s tail.
Holly wreaths hanging from the hotel’s door
and Ormond Quay’s sash windows
wink their prickly red-berry eyes
at you and me speeding through the streets,
speeding into the new year
like Flash Kavanagh, loved priest of St Audeon’s,
named after his twenty minute mass –
the congregation below in Adam and Eve’s
staring up the old hill in envy,
freezing from praying too long.
I have cold fingers, you a cold head.
I’d cut your hair this morning
and having no newspaper only Christmas wrapping
had sat you down over silver Santas, gold stars,
faceless angels – and clueless, had snipped away.
What do you work at yourself?
Do you want a number one or number two?
Oh how you’d trusted me! Your hair
defiant like feathers, passing through my fingers
blew with us to places we’d always longed to go –
Matchu Pitchu, Greenland, The Cooley Pass –
and would not let go of us. Even now it clings to us
walking gloveless, hatless through the quiet streets
on St Stephen’s Day, exhaling the old year –
the new one not recognising the clean-cut you.