On the crest of Liffey Bridge
a beggar sits completely still, monastic
in his hood, cup extended and as if
this message were incomplete on cardboard,
in title case, ‘Homeless, Please Help’.
Something slows me – his beard,
the hollow cheek, the angled nose,
the moustache lightening at the edge,
the attitude of concentration.
This is my hell bent ex, two and more decades
gone into his fate. I walk on a bit, stop
and say, aloud, ‘What should I do?’,
wanting to walk away but linked
by ancient forgings. I look back
and he turns his hopeful eyes to me,
smiling at me. Eyes so probable
except they’re brown instead of blue.