Post Road Magazine #20

The Guinness at Tigh Mholly

Angela Alaimo O'Donnell

Yer makin' the Yanks' Tour, are ye?

Peadar said, Cian smiling behind the bar

pouring 4 pints for his new American friends,

our 100-mile drive from Kerry to here

amusing to a man for whom the next

county is another country away.

He told us the history of the pub,

the clock that stopped at Mholly's birth

a century gone, ticked past the time

while he walked us from stone room to stone room

naming the faces in the Stations on the walls,

a Celtic Virgil leading a misguided tour.

All the while we drank the famous Guinness

drawn from Mholly's lines laid long ago

making it the best on the Spidéil Road,

while we argued poetry, Barack O'Bama,

the slant of the light on Connemara cliffs,

no new thing fine as the old.

What he knew he knew sure as his own hand

and wouldn't take no for an answer:

Heaney was a hack, Donegal men dishonest,

and Clifden as far as you'll need to go

should you need to leave home for awhile

and you know you'll be needing to come back.

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