We crept away, not telling a soul. We left at dawn, phoned my son, told him to meet us there. Doonbeg, Clare.
Late Afternoon Yoga on the White Strand with my Daughter Under the cliff, near the lapping shore, my daughter, turned downward dog into cat cow Her taut, lithe body framed itself into warrior three contorted back into crab and stretched into tree. Her hands reached into the kippered clouds rippling in pink across the late afternoon sea. Meantime, above, a flow of black and white cattle, with shuddering udders, meandered, full of shape and sway, from the field at the top of the beach to a milking shed, flicking tails, leaking shit. The waft and vision sent our dogs into a paroxysm of heaven, terror and joy, barking and yapping. At the sound of the mayhem, we leapt with alacrity to leash our mutts, chasing and shouting ‘stop that’, ‘come here’. Order restored, we apologised, admonished our pets who flopped down, tongues lolling, unrepentant; We resumed our positions, Roisin in child’s pose, me smoking a cigarette, but the zen moment was ruined. The Pollock Hole in Kilkee It was early morning A man’s bare pale skin puckered, red with goosebumps. He chatted to his young son in no rush to leave or clothe himself. Behind, in the sunlight, the pollock glistened in the flat granite rock both alluring and frightful at the same time It’s balmy, he joked. My daughter undressed and crouched, preparing. The man and boy left. I stepped away, traversing the plateau of black and grey dotted with light. I sniffed the bright blue and yellow cold wind snipped at my ankles the town quiet at the prom. I circled back to the pollock. She was still on the rock I waited. She plunged. I saw her legs kick Her mouth gasp, her arms flail. It’s so cold, she wailed, but wonderful I wanted to go in But my heart failed. O’Brien’s Cottage, Doonbeg The kitchen table dominated the room Long, bleached, four two inch wooden panels of pine detracting even from the ancient range we set it with two vases of flowers Salad, sausages, fried potatoes Cheese and wine mother, father brother, sister a family on the cusp of turning Through the thick cottage walls and small windows, fingers of sun reached in Spreading sea, salt, and scrubby grass My tummy gurgled in glee at the pitch of conversation forming familiar patterns around a kitchen table after so long in silence staring alone at the TV