Poem of the week: Fault Lines

A new work by Judy O’Kane

Judy O’Kane

Judy O’Kane


Somewhere between Heathrow and Howth
the hostess says, Don’t separate the lid

from the cup – give it a while to settle.
Two kids are arguing in the row in front,

Irish twins you could call them, had they not
come from London, somewhere, you could say,

between Communion and Confirmation. The older
lad mimics his brother, calling out his question:

Is there a time difference in Ireland? No one
answers. I lift the coffee. We can still move freely

within the cabin; soon we will be submerged
in cloud; before we know where we are,

a watery border will emerge. The young
lad is waiting. Someone should answer him.

His mother smiles, unsure. No, I want to say, not yet,
at any rate: many a slip ’twixt the cup and the lip.

Judy O’Kane won the National Memory Day Prize, the Charles Causley Poetry Prize, the Irish Post Prize and the Listowel Writers Week Original Poem Prize. She recently completed a PhD at the University of East Anglia