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12 June 2014updated 09 Sep 2021 1:22pm

“Grip Stick“: a new poem by Mark Granier

By Mark Granier

The man emptying bins on the prom might be my age,
though healthier looking, tanned, bare-armed
in a hi-vis jacket and black ski-cap.
He plucks at stray bits of litter with that familiar
metal rod with its Dalek pincer – the same

as the one I bought for my mother in Fannin’s
some years before she died – a gadget
so starkly ingenious surely it’s a branch
of a family tree of similar inventions, of Bakelite,
whalebone, leather, wood . . . going back, back

to that afternoon in her nursing home
a year and a half ago, when I hold her hand
and feel it loosen then go slack, and call
the nurse, who says quietly “yes, she’s going . . .”
and I look out the window

to see the usual glorious rubbish, clouds
not stopping their tumble over Killiney Hill’s
huddle of slates and satellite dishes, while I am
abruptly in a different country – the vast
landscape of her open palm –

tiny in the grip of what gave way.

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Mark Granier is an Irish poet and photographer. He is author of three collections
of poetry: Airborne, The Sky Road and Fade Street. His fourth, Haunt, will be
published by Salmon Poetry in 2015.