The Rathmines Road

by t t

Doran’s barber shop, can you believe,
is still there on Castlewood Avenue,
while back from oblivion is the Stella,
or at least a hipster’s retro take on it,

but further down the road that old fleapit,
the Prinner (the Princess if you don’t mind),
is as long gone as the Lone Ranger
and Tonto serials that thrilled your Saturdays.

And Levis electrical is no more, but that’s where
you bought your first record player, and where
you joined the window-gazers that November night
as Telefis Eireann relayed the news about JFK.

Needless to say, no one recalls the sawdust floor
in Nolan’s butchers, or knows of Ferguson’s cafe,
where your mother took you for eclair treats,
or, indeed, the Monument Creameries

or the Swastika laundry (was that really there?)
or Lee’s department store, where your money
whizzed overhead to the waiting cashier
and your change came whizzing back to you.

Your mother, of course, would remember it all.
She was born around the corner in Richmond Hill
and brought you through your boyhood there,
but she’s vanished, too, one more memory now.

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