We used to sit in a group up in the park
drinking revolting mixtures of spirits
robbed from gullible parents liquor cabinets
and smoking cigarettes we bought two for ten pence
from the irresponsible shop keeper who also sold us our penny jellies.
As time passed we introduced the softest of illegal substances
and availed of the dark winter evenings to gently molest one another.
With nothing to do and nowhere to be we unintentionally
spent our days dissecting modern philosophy
and running from the Garda when they showed up unexpectedly.
Later on, through fortunate chance and happenstance
I stumbled my way into a University and blagged myself a degree.
Learning to roll my r’s and sandpaper the rougher edge of Dublin from my tongue,
While you staggered from expulsion to Dole queue to probation
And erased the sparkle from your eyes with alcohol and heroin.
I got myself an office job and a pretty apartment
And became adept at hiding the places I grew up in,
While you robbed a post office and got locked up
And died bleeding in a dark cell of an overcrowded prison.
They didn’t believe when I said, I used to be friends with him.