The Craic


The willowy girl with Jean Harlow hair

And dimples that wink in Irish soap skin

Starts to vogue in the kitchen.

She’ll be on the tabletop soon enough

Tonight’s craic has begun.

The student old marrieds defend their Lucky Charms

Twin sunburned arms

Hugging their bowls of clovers and wishes

Drowned in blue/pink milk

By that manic leprechaun.

On the musty Summer couch

We sit you and I, there

Like salt water creatures

Flung out of the deep end

It’s harder to stand.

Rrrasp click, Rrrasp click

The Zippo has the attention

All thoughts on ignition

Something, anything — flick it again

Maybe it’s in denial?

Then the creak and the slap

Of the Summer screen door

You’re next to me, no more

Well that sounded final.

I look up to witness, then pause, check in

Wait for her to settle in

But before she digs in

I’m already running.

Bare feet they feel nothing

But air rushing under

Ears hearing nothing but

Breath and heart crash, full thunder — on

Open eyes seeing nothing

But a glimmer of track

Who cares if it’s black

I’ve got the wind at my back.

And then I see you

You turn at the cross

One time it’s been done

For once I have won.

I run by a sidewalk gallery

Ignore the whistles and guffaws

This time I don’t pause

I launch.


It’ll be a good craic.

— By Robin Harper

A year-round Island resident since 1997, Robin Harper lives in Edgartown with her husband and two daughters. This poem was inspired by one summer night when Robin was 18, the only American sharing a house in Oak Bluffs with 10 students from Ireland.