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Riverside Heights

Laura Lush
From:   Fault Line. Vehicule Press (Signal Editions, 1997).


It was as if some giant had landed there years before
and, from his pocket, placed the little blue house
down on the grass, fresh and shiny as an after dinner mint.
And the house sat there for a little while
until they came—these Irish—all seven of them,
dragging the tattered cloth of their own island behind them,
and stuffed their too-big bodies into those too-small rooms
with the two-small beds that shook every time a train rattled past.
They didn’t know then that they were making local history,
that for years after their departure,
the neighbours would still be talking about them.
How their windows and balconies flowered with dirty laundry,
How their boxers sailed from the TV antennae regally as kites.
How on Friday nights—or sometimes even Tuesdays—they’d run
up and down the stairs banging pots—and still later,
home after the pub,, they’d charge through each other’s flats
with kendo sticks and boogie boards, mad as bulls.
It was presumed on many a night that they had killed one another,
Squashed each other’s bodies into wardrobes
and garbage bags, tossed them off the balcony
into the clear shimmering of rice paddies.
While their fortresses slowly grew—the tall brown
beer bottles, toppling one after the other
like fallen soldiers.
Some nights
they still see them dancing.
The white-bellied pagans from another kind of island.


Laura Lush's works copyright © to the author.


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