Poem of the week: A Plumber in Aleppo

A new poem by Eamon McGuinness

Eamon McGuinness

If I fail to talk of bombs and sea crossings,
Forgive me, our sink has been blocked for
Months and we have a wet patch on the ceiling
From the upstairs shower. But the names of
Those unvisited towns and cities lie on my
Tongue and when I think of Aleppo, I think of
Gort, Tuam, Athy, Buncrana, places I've
Not visited either. I can't think of the streets or buildings.
But try to focus on one person: a plumber in Buncrana.
I rang ours months ago. He said he'd be here
Last week. I'm afraid to call again, worried he'd
Pick up, come around. I'm no good at the small talk.
I'd have no idea what to say about it all, no way
Of asking him where he'd been, or how
To speak to him about everything he'd seen.

Eamon McGuinness has had poetry published in various journals and was shortlisted for the Strokestown International Poetry Festival. His first collection is due from Salmon