Today I Met David Kelly, Actor, in the Street


Today I met David Kelly, actor, in the street

Outside Adam’s Fine Art Auction Rooms

On Stephen’s Green North.

Instantly in the sun we fell to reminiscing

About our dear dead mutual friend Donal McCann

Who died almost to the day this week ten years ago.

“But Paul, I must tell you about my father’s funeral.

Well, there he was in his coffin in the hearse, you see,

And, of course, I was in the mourners’ car behind.

Now, my father was not merely an ordinary man –

He was the most ordinary man in the universe.

He had his name in the newspapers twice –

When he was born and when he died.

But as we drove across the city to Glasnevin cemetery

I noticed passers-by in the streets

Doffing their hats or blessing themselves.

Wasn’t that simply absolutely astonishing?

How my father would have been delighted by it!

How he would have deeply appreciated it!

Donal – and I am sure he had a ten-ton hangover –

Came to the removal on the previous night

And – I am sure with an even worse hangover the next day -

He came to the funeral and to the cemetery.

I cannot tell you how touched I was by that.

Such immense kindness! Such immense sensitivity!

Oh yes – and you know I was eighty myself last Saturday! –

This yoke – ” David Kelly, actor, twirls his Malacca cane

Across his garnet-buttoned, wine-red velvet waistcoat

Before swaying off into the multitude –

“It used be for style – now it’s – it’s simply to hold me up!”