Skating to Byzantium


You skated like you were going somewhere,
once, the little boat of your board
skittering over the concrete waves.

I almost see you as you were: flushed
as a sunset, the wind drinking apples
and dust from your hair.

But that is no country for young men
whose bones have aged prematurely.
Boys with their bright caps and skateboards

know that June loves their bare arms
flung out for balance, their bodies tensed
for an inevitable fall.

Winter came early to your body.
Now you must turn from the green grass,
the rush of beer-brown river.

You know why the clouds roll by
so quickly these days, your world
rattling into the road like a detached wheel
in front of the stars’ bright traffic.

Listen to this poem:


Skating to Byzantium a poem by Roisin Kelly

Photo Skateboarding by David Noah used under Creative Commons License (BY-2.0)


About Author

Roisin Kelly is an Irish poet who was born in Belfast and raised in Leitrim. After a year as a handweaver on a remote island in Mayo and a Masters in Writing at National University of Ireland, Galway, she now calls Cork City home. Her poetry has appeared in POETRY, Blunderbuss, The Dark Horse, The Baltimore Review, the Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology 2014, and Best New British and Irish Poets 2016 (Eyewear 2016).

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