Dublin’s shadow

The river is unlit.
Two-story buildings hunker down in darkness.
North of the Liffey.
Over on the south side
stars do not shine through the clouds. The grey
leftovers of today’s rain and yesterday’s.
And everything is yesterday’s
from the jail to the castle to the pub
which needs new windows. Yet inside,
men speak thickly through pints,
finding anonymity in their worn caps
and stereotypes.
One wonders if these are the men of Wolfe Tone,
planning seventeen-ninety-eight.
Or the fourteen who planned their own executions
and raised a flag to an unborn republic.
Temple Bar is full of false modernity.
Consumerism ill-befits this city which still feels
the historical shadow of the Castle.
The shadow of yesterday’s clouds.

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