(on the opening of a second Lidl store in Sligo Town)
The blue and yellow logo
emerges from the gloom
like the lights of a rescue ship,
like the promise of greatness.
There is a second Lidl in town
and Finisklin, where it resides,
is now like one of
those once sleepy villages that get
a Virgin apparition,
a moving statue, a picture of Jesus
in a slice of toast:
the pilgrims are already flocking
to this part of the town that,
for twenty-two hours of each day
used to be as dead as Christmas.
Now, the line of cars stretches from the mid-block
junction down to Finisklin, the Ursuline and the railway
bridge; all landmarks of my childhood.
I grew up five hundred empty metres away
and this road has never seen so much activity,
so many craving a bargain,
such an intense desire for random
They come for cheap drill bits,
anti-splatter shields, bike panniers,
children’s gloves, ladies’ jeggings,
patio lights, car fuses, garlic presses,
high-vis vests, nose-hair trimmers,
steam irons, first-aid kits,
mani-pedi sets, gym balls,
The hungry faithful
enter with their heads bowed
and handle the merchandise with wonder,
as they would a saint’s leg-bone or
a piece of the true cross.
This, finally, will put our place on the map;
it is what we have been crying out for
Now we are whole, now we can
hold our head up high and take our
place at the top table of
the Irish urban landscape.
After all, what self-respecting town has
only one Lidl?