Alan Weadick

School Run

Alan Weadick

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1.

Austin Princess… Morris Mini,

VW Beetle … Datsun Sunny

Triumph Acclaim… Rover SD1,

Jaguar XJ-S… Ford Capri…


He named the dinky seventies

constellations from behind

the fogged back seat window

of a Toyota Corolla


until he was dizzy and hot

with the eyes and the mouth

that could never be big enough

to put a tail or a full stop


on the tilting globe

of his doubtless father’s making.

But made a panting fist

of it anyway until they fell


into their destination, buzzing

with sugary knowledge.

Who was he to put an end

to his Daddy’s untiring pride


which took the form

of breathlessness

in the driver’s seat

between answers,


and remained long after

all the cars grew up

and got slickly nameless

in the puking lay-bys


of a mind learning to walk

in the clouds, this holding

of the breath and tongue

between father and son


the bunched branch creaking

under a hundredweight of wind, a sky

crackling with injured fury?

And he still doesn’t know


how they drive or why.


2.

Drive, he sd, for /christ’s sake look /out where yr going – Robert Creeley


What grainy scenes,

played out in nebulous zones

where sky meets road,

harden to flat-out fact


in the faces of the drivers

starring in their routine vehicles

projected on wing and rear view mirrors

inching toward the petrified city


to make them hold so

white-knuckle tight

for dear, grim life

baby, baby, deep down inside


as the songs go

over and over. And over

to you, Nitrogen Dioxide,

as the pre-pedestrian


children cough their way

into another Monday morning

every splutter a bang

of the gavel on the bench


of a Mister DJ Justice

who still dares to dream

just like a child

as many another song


whimpers that there is always

someone way up high, another,

hanging on his every word?

and the answer comes


insistent as my child’s

insistence on having his certain say

from the hub of at least one universe

inaudible under unconverted noise


while driving faces in repose

will admit to nothing

but their own right

to a lifetime of silence


and hair-trigger rages

as marchers, strollers and pedal- pushers

are all in their dozens devoured

by the bend in the road ahead.


Alan Weadick


AlanWeadick has had poems published most recently in Cyphers, The Irish Times New Irish Writing and Southword. He has been shortlisted for The Strokestown Poetry Festival, Listowel Writer's Week and Red Line poetry competitions and been longlisted for the National (UK) Poetry competition. He has also been nominated for a Hennessy Literary Award (Emerging Poetry, 2016). His prose fiction has been broadcast on RTE Radio 1 for the Francis McManus short story competition and another story was recently published in The Honest Ulsterman. He lives in Dublin.