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Frozen Sweeper
SOM (A Thursday,1987 / Tiobraid Arann)

Frozen Sweeper

Poem By Seán O Muiríosa

The streets are almost empty tonight
as they seem to be most nights now
like the hollow hallways of a dormant museum.
Doors and windows stitched tightly shut,
the silence is an artful dream.

Dazzling darts may pass through,
but I am unaware.
In turn they are oblivious
to my beseeching stare
for something – anything –
that will shake the icy streets
and to give me an end
to this manic tugging of hair.
Frozen in a frosty moment,
an Ice Age in my eyes.

Only a solitary midnight
sweeper braves the chill
With his shuffling and shovelling
He scratches at the grounds
Fresh layers with all his might
As if his efforts will
cleanse the world.
But this is his world, here,
And the ice is taking hold.

There was a time when traffic
ran smooth and hazard free,
and this ice was a muffled
urban legend, which I thought
could never be unleashed
upon this place, upon streets,
the grey haired sweeper
and his compromised face.
Oh, the chill!

For now, I look on
from my window
overlooking the streets,
to see if I will be witness
to a miracle, perhaps one
that will take off on a broom!
Until then, I wait for the call
but in this moment I hear
absolutely nothing at all
except the never-ending
scratching of tomorrow.

User Rating: 3,5 / 5 ( 3 votes ) 3

Comments (3)

don't think you should compromise your style, Sean. i think your strength lies in your ability to combine free verse/thought with moderate structure. i'd like to see you do away with structure all together. & see what happens. (political views aside) as for your 'streets of winter' poems - i dig them. Sus.
No I don't buy Jefferson's view here and not for the first time either! I think your strength is the ability to mix conventional standards with free verse-type approaches. That should be praised in my view. This poem has a crisp, glacial feel to it in the cut glass consonants used, effectively evoking theme and place.
beautifully vivid


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