The Closest We’ve Been


We were, the two of us, parked on a rock each, looking

out at Galway Bay on a mild August night.

Drunk and merry, drunk and pensive,

but in those few hours happy. Strolled along,

or staggered, after winning a score on the slots

(or was it fifty?) and our girlfriends were left behind

to talk about us.


It was his way when he’d had a few –

“forget about them,” he’d say, and he’d wrap his arm

around my shoulder and we were brothers.

We sat there looking out at the lights passing

slowly, slowly along the horizon. The two of

us reminiscing like we were old men.

School was a recent memory.


Before we knew it the sea had surrounded us,

and we were islands, stranded together

but content and conversational, still.

We’d accepted our fate — now we were separate

from their land, kings of our own.

No laws here, just sedentary positions

and good feeling.


No religion or creed, no drugs, no speed.

Here there were no politics, and no need

for foreign embassies. No protests,

no austerity. We governed with grace, our land

in awe of the sea. “I wonder where they are,”

I said. “Who cares?” was his response.

And truly, who did?


But it wasn’t long before they beckoned us home,

like mothers spoiling the fun when children

are given the key to the day.

And so we tried to tackle our Everest, the blood

still thinned, and soon to be adorning our shins:

the jagged rocks didn’t take kindly to the abandoning

of our land.


Now I look down and see these memories on my skin,

and wonder where the shoes I borrowed from my

brother washed up. These scars are stories —

We shared beds and bathtubs, parents and plates,

days and nights. And so it was Fate who determined

that it wasn’t only shoes that drifted

out to sea.


15 Replies to “The Closest We’ve Been”

      1. “If ever there’s going to be a life hereafter …” sung it when I was a tiny tot … and so many others … “and watch the sun go down on Galway Bay …” The Moore family was from Cork before it settled in Swansea. Irish roots one side, Welsh roots on the other … and a mixed bag in between.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “For the breezes blowing across the sea from Ireland. . .” That’s a nice thought. My childhood songs consisted of the voices of Freddy Mercury and Mick Hucknall. . . Not so romantic.

        Wales is a pretty part of the world. It’s been a long time since I’ve been there. Which country do you call home these days?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The song was one of Ireland in exile: “for the breezes blowing o’er the sea from Ireland / bring memories with them as they blow…” I left the UK in 1966 for Canada and I’ve been here ever since. New Brunswick, Maritimes, East Coast. Beautiful here now with the leaves just turning colour.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah, it’s still quite a popular song. Didn’t Crosby’s cover cement its popularity?

        I’m in Canada now myself! Currently in Edmonton. And you’re right, it’s beautiful here this time of year – no one told me.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve never made it to Edmonton. Calgary, yes, a couple of times. But not further north. I am always amazed at the immense natural world that surrounds us over here. Breath-taking most of it and in miniature in the Maritimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Breathtaking is an apt word. Awe-inspiring, too. We’ve done a little bit of travelling about (we’re only here three months) – Banff, Jasper, Canmore, Whiteswan, and we did pay a visit to Calgary, too. The place you call home is, indeed, very beautiful. We’ll be hoping to make trips east and west while we’re here 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s