Daniel Wade

 

 

 

Rapids

When he got kicked out in second year
for smoking hash on the Astroturf,
relief heaved from everyone’s throat.
No longer would we have to fear
his ape-like strut, fists’ basalt salvo,
rain-grey tracksuit, knife-like stare.

There were lads two, three years older
scared shitless of him.
A box off him left you bruised, winded;
your gashed mouth inhaled gravel
as his Reeboks slapped off asphalt,
his knuckles flexed, re-flexed bone-white.

He reminded us that, next to him, we were
still only kids, mammy’s boys softened
by affections he probably never had, our
innocence mortifying and bared, our voices
still reedy and cracked against his surly baritone,
and our reluctance to hit back, give him

a taste of his own savagery, secure. His fist
held the key to every hard-bitten door.
He shook it, a tattooed incitement to war,
spelling out the value of hatred in school.
Yes, his hatred had been welcome.
As welcome as it was mutual.

I heard he tried topping himself later. Years
of dejection boiled down to it before he lobbed
himself into the stream near his estate,
hoping to either bash his skull off sunken rocks
or else drown in the rapids,
set his body afloat like fleshy driftwood.

After they pulled him out, he was at first
unresponsive to the C.P.R
before his eyes snapped open and a few
choked fuck you’s bubbled and fizzed
off his tongue; when he was fully woke,
lava dribbled from his mouth.

 

 

 

 

Daniel Wade is a poet from Dublin, Ireland. In January 2017, his play The Collector was staged at the New Theatre, Dublin. Daniel was also the Hennessy New Irish Writing winner for April 2015 in The Irish Times.

 

 

 

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