In Ireland by David J. Thompson

First night out in Dublin, need some euros,
can’t wait to walk down to the Temple Bar.
I get in line at an ATM on Connolly Street,
see the guy in front of me has the face
of a fierce bird of prey, eyes that pierce
the street light glare. Holy shit, I say
to myself with a laugh under my breath,
I’m in Ireland standing behind the winner
of the Samuel Beckett lookalike contest,
and I haven’t even had my first Guinness yet.

After a few minutes I notice we’re not moving,
and the line in back of me keeps growing.
Someone says the machine is out of cash,
but maybe the money truck is on its way.
No one really knows. The Beckett guy is nodding,
a woman with a long scarf says the ones
down toward the river also have no money.
She came up here hoping, but it’s the same
everywhere. Not sure what to do, I stand there
waiting with everyone else, undecided,
hands in pockets. I notice the long row
of tour buses behind me, idling in the dark.

David J. Thompson grew up in Hyde Park, New York, and currently lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. His latest poetry/photography chapbook, A World Without Horses, is available on Kindle. Please visit his photo website at

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