Graham Connors

Real Words

for Colm

He told me with words,
his own words, the real words
‘unhappy’ and ‘scared.’
I didn’t have to glean
meaning from a look
or a half-cocked smile.
He didn’t try to hide it,
he didn’t lie about it
or how he felt.
But I didn’t believe him.
I dismissed his words
as just that – words.
I laughed it off
‘you’ll be fine, buck-up,
get back on the horse.’
What a thing to say
to a friend who was asking
for my help, for my hand.

Three weeks later he was gone.
And what I wouldn’t give
for that hand right now?

If I had those three weeks
I’d listen and I’d tell him
that he is so important
and I would be using
real words.


Graham Connors has previously been published in wordlegs magazine, 30 Under 30 Anthology, Allegory magazine, Under Thirty magazine, The Bohemyth, The Lit Garden, Link magazine and long-listed for the Doire Press International Chapbook competition. He is the founder and editor of Number Eleven Magazine as well as contributing editor for the Dublin Informer newspaper. He successfully staged his first play, ‘The Mortal Pitch’, in both Wexford and Dublin.  Originally from Gorey, Co. Wexford, he has lived in Dublin for the last ten years.