Featured Poet Audrey Molloy

All the Important Things
Curracloe Beach, July 2016

Only last week we walked here, raincoats 
throat-zipped, scarfs doubled,
a curious seal our sole company. 

The sand, a shade between cement 
and cardboard, released fine powder, 
whipped ankle skin.

Two horses thundered past;
You swam here? he said, and made me 
wonder if time had distorted it all, 

if the flipbooks were real—
Did I really, age nine and nut-brown, 
fossick for pretty shells, 

eat hard-boiled eggs 
and scallions, drink Tupperware-tea
after my third dip of the day?
Today, he has left for Moscow, 
but I have my answer: the sky—
kite-ribboned, Falcon-brochure blue.

Hoards throng in every shade 
of sunburn, white and bottle-tan.
Mothers—ankle deep—hike skirts, 

mark toddlers. Candy-striped 
windbreakers stake out territory 
keeping sand off lubed backs 

and lacquered boobs. 
Installed on deckchairs, leeward, 
women cluck and sizzle,

Sure this is better than Spain
talk of the best swimsuit 
for an even tan, the antics of kids,

husbands, the important things.
My youngest, lithe in triangle 
bikini, trawls the littoral zone 

for tiny clams in mauves 
and peachy pinks, each 
with a pinhole

at the apex, perfect for a necklace.
The road tar has melted on the way 
back to cars parked in ditches. 

Outside the games arcade, 
teens eye each other off 
as practice material; it could be 

Curracloe Beach 1986,
the year we dredged the sea 
for our parish priest. Or, for that matter,

Rush Beach 1976, cars 
in a prairie-wagon ring, 
jelly-fish brandished at terry-

towelled girls and a sun-worshipper, 
caught off guard in a cross-
your-heart bra.

The seal has fled to warmer waters,
like my love, who believes all this
was invented by a woman far from home.

Learn more about audrey at www.audreymolloy.com

About the contributor

Audrey Molloy is an Irish poet based in Sydney. Her work has most recently appeared in The North Magazine, Mslexia, Magma Poetry, The Moth Magazine, The Irish Times and The Tangerine. In 2019 she received the Hennessy Award for Emerging Poetry, the Listowel Writers' Week Award for Irish Poem of the Year and the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. Her debut pamphlet Satyress was published by Southword Editions in 2020. Website: www.audreymolloy.com

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  1. Beautiful, love the words … Tubberware tea, kite ribboned; I’m oblivious to the dangers of a man, or a train. Powerful. This, the first glimmer of a deeper kind of love, what a beautiful line. thank you!

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