by Andrew Jones

Midday down a Dublin alley adjacent to Grafton Street,
a thin bald man plucks his tinny banjo and belts out lyrics,
"Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda."
He dances a circle in and out of shadows, a sort of jolly swagman
camped along the cobblestone walk instead of by a billabong.
His song waltzes me forward, and into his upturned hat
I toss the few Euros left in my pocket.

That night, walking back to my hotel along the Liffey,
I fondle an Australian penny bent into an outback hat
that as a boy my grandmother gave me for good-luck.
I stuff it down into the watch-pocket of my jeans,
try to recall the image of a different man
singing that song a decade ago at her funeral,
before picking up the chorus and singing my way home.

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