Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Corner Boy

Willie is the Corner Boy,
Surveyor of the street,
Tenant of the Bog Lane breeze
Defector to defeat.
Nally’s is the meeting place,
Parlor of the free,
Where men and boys of idle grace
assemble and agree.

Willie knows the business
of every passer-by,
The jobber with his soft tan boot,
The knacker, by his tie.
He scans the moving face
and reads it like a map,
He can measure person-panic
by the angle of a cap.

He knows the name of every child
from Kenagh to Moyvore,
The number-plate of every car,
The price of every whore.
The chancey men who work and draw
to feed the hungry horde,
And every lover’s lover
who pays homage to the Lord.

Willie is the Corner Boy
who scorns gain and loss,
A crutch for passing cripple,
A Christ for every cross.
A thousand woven wrinkles
are his testaments of care,
And still the mobile masses pass
as if he weren’t there.


  1. I really liked that. And especially liked this line: "He can measure person-panic
    by the angle of a cap."

    Madeleine Begun Kane

    1. thank you again for the kind comment. the subject of the verse did exist but is long since gone to God.

  2. I'm glad to learn about Willie. Your poem makes him so easy to know! He reminds me of my (also departed) friend, Aileen. I hope they've had a chance to meet (God rest their souls). They would really like each other.