Cregagh Road

Saturday and the street is lit up with activity, 
sunlight on the western side, the arousal of that. 
There’s a preacher offering me healing 
on a glossy brochure, here’s an old man 
watching me taking it and swiftly moving on, 
a list of chores inside his head and a disciplined trot. 
There’s the bell of someone leaving the wool shop 
finishing her sentence as she steps out the door 
with a bagful of thermal potential. The florists 
have laid out their pastures, plastic pots 
of cyclamens and premature shrubs, one 
for this much or two for a little more. I stop 
and scan for herbs – mint or thyme. Only 
rosemary here, that I rub between finger and thumb, 
take a sniff with me, passed the bakery 
with its scone-stacked window and on 
to Nicole’s Cafe. It’s small and full of people, 
breakfast smells – sausages, bacon, the pork 
fattiness of that. They give me a scone from yesterday 
to have with my coffee, and I’m back out the door. 
There’s a man outside, hovered over his full fry 
in case I pinch a piece of potato bread with a lick 
of that brown sauce. And here’s everyone else, on their way 
towards Sunday – quick, before everything shuts. 

The Other

There’s a weather break, or a break 
in the weather. The sky has cleared 
and the rain has stopped. Or is that 
the sun starting up again? 
What a delicate business this is, 
half-filling a half-empty glass, 
claiming direction over nonchalance, 
enduring summer for winters’ sake. 
I’d heard about things like this – 
terraced houses, feeling old 
at parties, that there are squirrels 
in the parks. 
I saw one today, squirreling 
and I wondered why I don’t try 
that too. With things, 
like happiness, for instance. 
Before I knew it, Monday 
had come and gone, been 
and done, like day-light 
robbery. But there’s always 
another. Soon it will be 
the Monday after 
and there’ll be time 
for this, that and the other. 


Lynley Edmeades has just completed her MA in Poetry at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, at Queens University Belfast. She is currently travelling through Russia and Mongolia, en route to New Zealand, where she will be resuming work as a bookseller in Wellington.