THE LAST JANT (Paul O’Brien)


We were sipping on our “last drinks”

Getting ready for to leave

John said “He’s gone thirty years

It’s hard to believe”

“Lately all my memories

Run like films in black and white

There sound is poor and fading

The picture’s not quite right”


Howth Head in the background

The foreground is the sea

I’m looking up at mammy

She’s looking back at me

The car in front is turning left

It’s long and it’s black

A stranger at the wheel

And daddy’s in the back


One last jant along the coast

One last look across the bay

One last jant along the coast

Daddy would have wanted it that way


We follow at a distance

I’m still taking in the view

The choppy waves, the boats

Reminding me of you

The car in front is slowing down

The driver gives a sign

The world is turning slower

He’s playing a trick on time


Stepping onto gravel

Mammy takes my hand

Someone asks how’s she keeping

She says, “Sure, we’ll be grand”

The driver wipes his forehead

Stops taking to his mate

Then we drive back empty

Through the cemetery gates