On first reading Dermot Bolger’s “Temptation”
I too know that road, the garage, the sharp bend,
the hump-backed bridge, over and beyond, the sea
at last, journey’s end.
Everything as it always was, as it should be.
But of course it is not,
the imagined woman’s tears of happiness
her fears of never seeing this again unrealised,
her deepest felt relief,
I applaud all of this
but for us it was not to be.
“She had honestly never expected,”
“to see this again except as a woman
riddled with cancer.”
And what can I do
August nineteen ninety-eight
the last summer’s day and all are
deserting the beach,
you know the scene –
struggling parents, lethargic children, end-of-season farewells.
She paused and looked back seawards,
“I feel like I’ll never see this again.”
Her simple words concealed a terrible truth.
Rosslare Strand, August 2000