Two poems by Ted McCarthy

Worse than beauty dying
is our letting go of it,
sadly, wearily,
resigned to its not being enough
but tortured by someone
else’s enjoying it
as if in begrudgery
we fashioned for ourselves
a world without music
or wished for rain
to cover the mountains.
In age, the sting of hail
is a welcome, cleansing thing,
it whips blood back to the skin,

it promises cold, indescribable blue.
And when I let you go
you were too young to know.
The swing described in air
the never coming back
to where we were;
you only felt the rush
of wind, and that first lurch
in your insides as you fell,
as the squeal
of terror lifted into joy.
The park like years flew by.
With every push
I felt a hand behind me,
sure between the shoulders
of my three-year-old body;
I didn’t turn to look.
The world came to a point
in your rapture at each height,
the whooshing in your ears,
every breath you’d ever take.

Ted Mc Carthy is a poet and translator living in Clones, Ireland. His work has appeared in magazines in Ireland, the UK, Germany, the USA, Canada and Australia. He has had two collections published, ‘November Wedding’, and ‘Beverly Downs’. His work can be found on