There’s no point blaming yourself
but the older you get the more faded they become,
soon there’ll only be acquaintances left.
All those youthful alliances you would once have died for
gone the way of career, mortgage, parenthood,
disease has claimed a few, and fair enough.
You wanted it for yourself, as a means of subsisting.
Now you’d be grateful for a conversation
with a barber, a polite smile from the checkout girl.
Even to be arrested might be more intimate than this.
All this anger at the world, it’s doing you no good
if you’re planning to do nothing with it.
You’re like a full box of wet matches.
Becoming invisible is a mixed blessing.
It’s not too much to ask — sooner the better really —
the world to stop and open up, saying
here’s your bolt hole, its straight plum sides,
look how we’ve prepared it for you.
Mark O’Flynn’s poetry and short stories have appeared in a wide range
of journals. He has published three collections of poetry. Recently
Picaro Press published a selection from these in Wagtail 100. His
second novel, Grassdogs, was published by Harper Collins in