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The Freewheelin' Caoimhín

--> Out of the corner of my eye
(the merest glimpse –
a form flash –
through the window of my moving car):
a couple
heading out of town
on the footpath opposite the National Concert Hall,
as I drive by searching for a place to park.
Something infinitesimal –
beard, stature, gait –
resonates in my mind
(great mystery),
and I lean over to check.
Tis him,
our freewheelin' Caoimhín, out beatnik fiddler,
our Dylan of the tradition, our folk astronaut.
But today he is not ours.
Today he is someone else’s.
Today he avoids the tribute concert to the father figure
and bypasses the celebration of the contemporary scene.
Today he has his arm around his beloved,
and they are moseying past together,
one body,
joking about, laughing freely,
tipsy on sunshine and each other.
I consider beeping.
I consider winding down the passenger window.
I consider the pleasant thought of stopping for a chat,
the quick catch-up, the warm feeling of
orbit –
all in the time it takes them to cross
the Hatch Street junction.
But something holds me back,
the playful intimacy,
the easy proximity,
their joyful drift
towards home and each other.
I let it go,
let them off,
away,
and continue my sweep.

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