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Sunday, June 07, 2015


by Ed Madden

for Dónal, Dublin, May 2015

At dinner in Dublin only days before
the vote, a friend told a story about
being on the 13 crosstown bus,

carrying a bunch of sunflowers for Gary.
He was wearing his Tá Comhionannas pin.
A drunk began to harass him, snatched

at the flowers, pulled off the head of one.
He said the Dublin grannies on the bus
got the driver to throw the fellow off

at the next stop. One picked up
the broken flower, returned it to him, saying
something about his girlfriend.  When he replied

that the flowers were for his boyfriend, he said,
the whole bus seemed to be filled
with grannies talking about the referendum—

all the rest of the way all the Irish
grannies telling me they’re voting yes.
Oh, to be on that bus.

Ed Madden is an associate professor of English and director of the Women's and Gender Studies program at the University of South Carolina.  He is the author of 4 books of poetry -- Signals, Prodigal: Variations, Nest, and Ark (to be published spring 2016).