Elaine Cosgrove – Inside the 24hr

First we all hear the shuffling noise.
Look! a tourist outside Spar exclaims—her phone,
a pitchfork claim, a scamall despair, our local newsprint’s
state stories so close, they rumble, and they ignore it.

He points his finger up at ‘Another person gone with the river.’
Oh, Friday hearts sink, desk-minds about their business.
Turning around, he says it again, tilting his callous cigarette,
and moves on to the pub.

It is confirmed by a stranger. ‘Yup, it’s rescue.’
We stand looking skyward, circular pattern tracking.
Tapping the PIN with one hand, the other clutching rib.
The couple outside Spar, passers’ gawking steps,

the rotors’ babble-cut blades in my purse,
palm hover covers the PIN, screen instructs user,
the noise creeps over necks tilted too many times for comfort.
And I want to turn my head too. Up, away

to nose the noise as it goes over building tops,
as sure as flight paths, as saddening as the river flow.
Taking the money from the slot’s silver mouth,
I snap it in between the lock too close to our bones.

‘Rescue for nothing,’ he says. No. Rescue is everything.

Note: scamall means ‘cloud’ in Irish