Poetry Corner: Docker by Seamus Heaney

There, in the corner, staring at his drink.
The cap juts like a gantry’s crossbeam,
Cowling plated forehead and sledgehead jaw.
Speech is clamped in the lips’ vice.

That fist would dropp a hammer on a Catholic-
Oh yes, that kind of thing could start again;
The only Roman collar he tolerates
Smiles all round his sleek pint of porter.

Mosaic imperatives bang home like rivets;
God is a foreman with certain definite views
Who orders life in shifts of work and leisure.
A factory horn will blare the Resurrection.

He sits, strong and blunt as a Celtic cross,
Clearly used to silence and an armchair:
Tonight the wife and children will be quiet
At slammed door and smoker’s cough in the hall.

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