One Finger Up Greeting


One finger raised
greeting driver to driver, as I
drive the quiet country
roads round Annamoe.
A man thing it seems to me
says “I see you” and also
“I see you seeing me” in reply.
Women seem to prefer the wave
suggesting friendship and knowing.
But for men one finger seeing is
fine, even with strangers

Why does this gesture come again
to mind lying here in a formula hotel
in Portlaoise?
Unlike quiet Tiglin,
N7 trucks run busy through the night.
Find a scrap of paper,
use a bookies’ pencil, write this
leaning on District and Circle.
Searched the drawer for letterhead
and a Gideon for support, but
no Bible,
only a Golden Pages
in case you’d want to buy rather than pray,
in the wee small hours

The One Finger Up Greeting
on my mind, took me home,
like a prayer, a thought.


Martin Swords
May 2010
Portlaoise

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