© By Paul Muldoon
Two workmen were carrying a sheet of asbestos
down the Main Street of Dingle
it must have been nailed, at a slight angle,
to the same-sized gap between Brandon
and whichever’s the next mountain.
Nine o’clock. We watched the village dogs
take turns to spritz the hotel’s refuse-sacks.
I remembered Tralee’s unbiodegradable flags
from the time of the hunger-strikes.
We drove all day past mounds of sugar-beet,
hay-stacks, silage-pits, building-sites,
a thatched cottage even –
all of them draped in black polythene
and weighted against the north-east wind
by concrete blocks, old tyres, bags of sand
at a makeshift army post
across the border. By the time we got to Belfast
the whole of Ireland would be under wraps
like, as I said, ‘one of your man’s landscapes’.
‘Your man’s? You don’t mean Christo’s?’
© Paul Muldoon, permissons Faber & Faber Ltd.
Paul Muldoon remembers the flowering of black flags all over Ireland in support of the hunger strikes campaign in 1981.