Poem of the week: Airfixit

A new poem by Iggy McGovern

Parts of an Airfix model aircraft kit of a Hawker Hunter bomber. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images/File

Parts of an Airfix model aircraft kit of a Hawker Hunter bomber. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images/File

 

“… as the deluge subsides and the waters fall short

we see the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone

emerging once again.” Winston Churchill, 16.02.1922

The must-have present on the Christmas tree

for any ageing Brexit male should be

an Airfix model kit of the Spitfire

symbolic of the Spirit of Empire

(but loathe to trace its name back to Shakespeare

and know itself as some post-modern Lear).

The afternoon has dwindled into night,

the finished model stands in fading light,

and here the child is father to the man

for though he followed each step in the plan

there always was one little extra bit

left over and impossible to fit.

He knows at last that it will take the People’s

Vote to glue back on ‘the dreary steeples’.

Iggy McGovern is a poet and a Fellow Emeritus in the School of Physics at Trinity College Dublin; he has published three collections with Dedalus Press: The King of Suburbia (2005), Safe House (2010) and The Eyes of Isaac Newton (2017). A Mystic Dream of 4, a poetic biography of William Rowan Hamilton, 19th century Irish Mathematician & Poet, is published by Quaternia Press (2013). His awards include the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary, the Glen Dimplex New Writers Award for Poetry and the Hennessy Literary Award

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