Inishwallah

by Michael Shann

I wish I’d gone to Inishwallah
when everyone else went.

That afternoon I stayed at the house
to read and have some time to myself,

but as soon as they closed the door
I thought, I should’ve gone to Inishwallah.

It wasn’t too late to catch them
but we’d said our goodbyes

and the moment was made:
they were going, I was staying.

I picked up my book but it felt
so flat and paper-backed

compared with this thing called living.
I ate a whole bag of pistachios

and watched the ferry come and go,
wishing I’d gone to Inishwallah.

When they all blundered in,
filling the house with laughter

and bright, dripping raincoats, I said,
So what is it then, this Inishwallah?