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It may be the weather today, final warming on the skin, family sitting in our garden outside my window. Whatever, it draws me to share this poem that I wrote last year in Winter when reminiscences kept the cold at bay. It also seems to be a time now when I am drawn to the past or simply old age calling me back to younger times as escape. Enjoy.


Remembrance of a Seaside Outing


Nana Dillon thought nothing

of packing a picnic, marshalling

eight grandchildren like a

duck and her ducklings,

trekking us from Crumlin,

on buses and trains, to Blackrock

on a day when the sun shone.


Sand to play on or sea to swim in

but never both. Always

midweek, when travel was easier,

famed outdoor swimming pool

beckoned but never permitted -

it cost threepence

and we would be out of sight.


Seaside was concrete steps,

outdoor stone pool, endless dips,

picnic sandwiches with sand,

orangeade, flasks of tea,

a homemade cake, sunburn,

building castles, burying feet,

sand fights, ducking heads.


Home trek always came too soon.

Tired small bodies dozing

on long seats in old carriages

behind belching steam engine.

Nana ever caring for her keep.

The final crawl from the bus,

dinner, blacked out sleep.