The Rabbit up there in IMMA has finally
come to life, had enough of people taking
his picture without consent, the metal of
him lit by the clock at 3.33 am, enlivened,
corporeal. Stepped down into dark sunken
gardens, the chewing gum limbs of him wily
and free, gambolling around sphere trees and
cone plants, espaliered things and boxed tulips.
Wellington glowers from afar, a statue on her plinth
grinding, craning her stony neck to get a goo at him.
A night photographer stands motionless on mezzanine
steps, cigarillo smoke tickles Rabbit’s nose. He leaps,
twirls away up to a chestnut tree, fulsome leaves like
hands, conkers now on his rabbit breath, green jacket
jewels. It’s rolling in, darkest hour before dawn buzz.
He switches his softening face towards town, coils legs
around, barber pole pattern. Loping, he finds his purpose
in the still waters around the hips of Anna Livia, she takes
his hand, the bean pole and the floozie, it’s the greatest love
story ever told. I want my children she says, they spill out
of her hair, they spill out of the Ashling hotel, file after drip-
dripping Plurabelle, mercurial Rabbit. It’s late summer the
pub hanging baskets are pink women in labour about to drop
glory. The lovers and and growing rabble of school uniformed
children, pyjama’d children, tae kwon do children, up the Dubs
children, Vote Vote Vote for deValera children, here comes Lisa
at the door children, Queenie-I-Oh children, armbands and Crayola
and very little dóidín suckling children snake their way up past
Moldovan shops and Brazilian bakers, levitate the Luas tracks, they
float over the puke and piss and damp sleeping bags of Henry Street,
oh! Here’s Joyce but he stays solid, metal won’t budge, cane jaunty.
At a trot now, more children spill out from hotel windows, a mass
of laughter and sand in eyes, the merry eyes of them, on down past
Cassidys and Trinity, up to mad Molly and Phil Lynott they’ll sing
to these children they’ll cradle them in a wheelbarrow they’ll feed
them Dublin bay prawns and rock them back to sleep they’ll give
them art and myths and music and love and why shouldn’t they.