By Trish Flanagan
There’s a feeling of summer in the March air,
Yet the town of Lahinch is deserted.
The promenade car park is never empty
In fine spring weather.
People gather to commemorate the end of
Another damp, dreary winter.
But, the seasonal dog-walking signs have been repurposed,
With bright warnings to socially distance.
The yellow of welcome sunshine
Has become the colour of fear and danger.
A patrolling garda asks me where I’m from,
Keen to keep day trippers at bay.
No surfers are in sight,
The sea is strangely calm.
I pick my way through the narrow walls,
Respecting the two-metre distance.
At prom’s end, we form a diagonal to chat.
And Lucy the Jack Russell, circles the four points.
Two children play catch with the incoming tide,
Their squeals breaking the stillness.
A little girl in a fairy dress, appears with her mother.
Meanwhile, up the hill in Moy,
Robyn and Ella are hosting picnics for their stuffed toys,
And counting ladybirds on my perimeter wall.
* Translates as Quarantine, Lahinch. Leacht Uí Chonchubhair is the old Irish name for Lahinch – Leacht meaning “grave” or “memorial cairn”. Uí Chonchubhair is the Irish for O’Connor.