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MICHAEL SHEEHAN

 

 

Michael Sheehan’s work has been published in Southword, The Irish Examiner, The Shop and Revival. His poetry was commended in the Gregory O’ Donoghue International Poetry Competition 2014 and highly commended in the Fool for Poetry Chapbook competition 2014. He lives in Cork, Ireland and has worked for over two decades in the Irish Prison Service. 

 

 

 

 

The Dancers

 

 

Not unlike the storybook cobbler
who sat up all night to catch
a glimpse of elves making shoes,
our man waited in the dark corner
by the pantry so he could spy on
what woke him each night.

Those sounds, rhythmic clicks and clacks
he could hear from his bed, as if tap-shoed
dancers moved across his kitchen floor.
He swore to us later that he hadn’t had
a drop that night, that he was sober
and clear-headed when the first pine chair

started to loosen out, to limber up,
how it seemed to stretch its knots of grain
as if they were muscle, legs performing
a slow plié, then a foot flexing up and down,
left and right. He noticed the table next, shuffling
round and round, slowly bending the scrubbed

expanse of its back, releasing tension in muffled
cracks, then the dresser two stepping, its plates held fast
behind a dowelled rail, began a simple pirouette,
turning slowly, until finally up on the point
of one squat foot it started to spin and spin,
became a blur of wood and willow pattern.

He watched for hours, he told us, as the furniture,
usually cumbersome and deadweight,
danced round each other, waltzed in and out, until
a rumble from the stove, two half consumed logs
falling in the grate, brought it all to a halt.

 

 

©2017 Michael Sheehan

 

 

Author Links

 

Michael reads 'Gallows Humour'

More work by Michael in Southword

 

 

 

 

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