Preconceptions in Palmerstown Park

By Nessa O’Mahony

November, post-work.
Strewn leaves trip up
on the weary walk
to the car parked
far enough out to be free.

The Starlet misplaced
on this street of Victorian villas,
high gates, granite steps
rising to painted porticoes,
bay trees in pots
(discretely padlocked).

I look up as the young man
skips down the last few steps,
lips moving to the beat
of a hidden blue-tooth.

Closer, I hear
what is untranslatable,
the growling vowels
of Eastern Europe.

Surprised, I tip my hat
to integration, admire
the upwardly mobile
as he strides easily
over flagstones.

I miss the satchel on his back,
the rolled up copies
of freesheets
as he fords the next gate
under the sign
that the house is to let.

Artwork by Kathryn Lamont.



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