• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 09

Brolly Lady

She stopped me at the entrance to the docks.
Is this the way? she asked.
Her hair was tousled,
her coat crook-buttoned,
her bags heavy and awkward.

To where?

You’d know a Kerry woman,
she responded,
always answering a question
with a question.
To the quays of course.
Where do you think I’m going?
Can’t you see my brolly?
It’s to keep me dry,
to fight off the fish,
to help me float.

She did a little jig,
waving her brolly in the air,
demonstrating how
she would fight the fish, and float away
wherever she wished to go.

She must have seen the shock in my face.
No dear, she said, I’m not joining the fish.
Don’t you worry,
I’m looking for the number 7 bus.
I’m going home with my bags full of goodies.
She danced another few steps.


Brolly Lady

I wondered had she had a few,
but no, she seemed steady enough on her feet.
It’s that way, I pointed,
as a message came crackling through.

Damn cops, she said then,
always causing trouble,
always expecting trouble.

I set the blue light, triggered the siren
and moved away.
Looking in the rear view mirror
I tried to catch a glimpse of her
crossing the street to the bus stop,
but the street was empty,
as though she had never been.