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ROISIN BAN (poem) - Ian Duhig - United Kingdom - Poetry International
 
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Róisín Bán
The M1 laid, they laid us off;
we stayed where it ran out in Leeds,
a white rose town in love with roads,
its Guinness smooth, the locals rough.

Some nights we’d drink in Chapeltown,
a place not known for Gaeligores,
to hear Ó Catháin sing sean-nós –
Ó Riada gave him the crown.

Though most were lost by ‘Róisín Dubh’,
all knew his art was rich and strange
in a pub soon drowned by our black stuff
when we laid the Sheepscar Interchange.

Pulped books help asphalt stick to roads
and cuts down traffic-sound as well;
between white lines a navvy reads
black seas of words that did not sell.