I met Sam in O’Donoghue’s
Nursing my mushroom soup and Guinness.
And listening to the pensioners playing familiar tunes.
It was cool outside and I had no desire
To leave the warm, joyful atmosphere
Created by rich food, cool stout and Irish music.
He brought one of the musicians a cider
And sat down at the table next to mine.
At the end of the song, he turned to me and asked,
“Are you American?”
“Yes,” I answered. “Are you Irish?”
He warmly laughed.
We talked for hours
About politics, and literature, and love.
Because all politics and literature
Come from love.
He talked about his several marriages,
And of the children he’s lost touched with,
A smile never left his lips.
I told him of my broken heart
That’s never healed.
A smile never breached my lips.
Sam sat back in his chair
And finished off his pint.
“All my mistakes were glorious,
Glorious and unforgettable.”
“My mistakes were just mistakes,” I sadly smiled.
“That’s all they ever were.”
“Yes, but weren’t they all lovely?” He grinned.
I had another drink of my stout
Before I said, “Yes, I believe they were.”