Poet Todd LarkinMy friend and former professor, Helen, asked me if I had any travel poems. Realizing that I did not, desperate for any opportunity to have my poetry seen, I took her question as a prompt to write one.


I thought of some of my favorite places, and travel memories. I thought about my great uncle Francie who I had visited in his thatch-roofed farmhouse in Ballinasloe a few years back, and how he had passed recently. Then I looked through my photos of the trip and was immediately inspired to show my appreciation to the people of Galway. This is my thank you note to a city that took me in like a long lost cousin. 










I miss the cobbled streets of Galway City.


The muddied fairgrounds of the races

in Ballybrit, out where my uncles

traded with the Romani,

slapping hands back and forth.

Those hands negotiated the honesty

of exchange.


Eoin and Phelim made me a cousin

and felt more like neighbors

than the strangers I live next to

here, alone, in the States.


I was among the sharp dressed lads on ladies day.

Amateur gamblers made the addiction

look more charming than shameful.

Guinness tent oysters were our delicacy.


Padraig damn near starved

had it not been for them 

in the old days.


Quay Street had no locks

and the ballads blasted

from the dirty heads on the corner,

where tourists dropped their Euros.

Salthill road kept Aunt Pearl floating

for a while, oh Pearls of Wisdom.

She wore all purple.

It splashed creativity over the

abundance of verdance.

In her Vedic Astrology shop

she raised a good lad

who broke window panes

with his sliotar.


Everyone forgave him.


Lads will play

and be born far from home,

but my blood runs thick

and I know my kin

from Ballinasloe.


Where Tommy and Francy are laid to rest

the grass overgrows

waiting to be replanted.