An American Horseman Drinks in Ahern’s Pub, Ennistymon

By Aidan Ryan

1988, left the satined ladies of the Galway races

for a day trip to Pa’s place, Ennistymon, County Clare.

‘Michael Ryan?’ Not a nod – he’d been forgotten

(least in town) but Uncle Willie …


and I still can see him on his assn’cart

proudbacked driving the hour into town.’

‘You knew him?’

‘As well as any.’

‘And he was?’

‘The only brother left.’

Nearly 30 years dead. And I two hours to Galway

and the Park House, futurities, local feed, shit and sterling,

Irish wagers on Lascaux, the closer I half-owned.

Thought of Willie’s ass. Tipped another pound

to Ahern, asked, ‘Could you show me where you laid him out?’


With a sweep

he cleared my pint and pointed:

‘Sure. You’re leaning on it.’


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