Return to 4th Floor Contents 2012

Mary-Jane Duffy

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Hungry Planet

Switches are turned off power refused
a study of small island team players
reports touch rugby and bullrush

are likely. In a hurry who knows to the
commuter train I fall on the thought
that every dinner is the portrait

of a household – my favourite
is a Guatemalan family in a room
empty except for beans and bread

rice and vegetables – and land hard
on my knees behind two men. It’s dusk
and there’s concrete. Later the soprano’s

red dress sings without a passport
across the strings, the neck, the hug
of the song in my throat to Daniel

Barenboim and his East West Divan.
The young conductor waves Beethoven
through the air and the violinists’ bows

are exclamation marks. I want us to be
an orchestra and if I said joy, I worry
about their jobs. I’ve mentioned kindness

and international cuisine – the less
packaging the better – and they are Irish
those men who retrace their steps to help.




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