The Journey Home from Japan (2004)
The hard part of the journey home
To Ireland from Japan
Is not the fourteen hours in the air
Nor the bumps in the ceilings
Between Mongolia and Siberia
Nor when over Norway the pilot drawls
“Boys and girls – glad you’re still with us”
Nor the maze of Heathrow
Nor the rat-run of the London-Dublin flight
Nor the cave-light of Dublin Airport.
The hard part,
Having stumbled from the taxi
And fumbled with the key in the door,
Is facing into my place
Smelling of droppings of suicide.
At least back in Japan
Suicide is an honourable end,
Not like in Ireland
A furtive act of disgrace.
‘The Journey Home from Japan’
first appeared in The
Art of Life (London: The Harvill Press, 2004) and is © Paul
Durcan. For notes about Paul Durcan see ‘Raftery