After the Titanic

     They said I got away in a boat
And humbled me at the inquiry. I tell you
     I sank as far that night as any
Hero. As I sat shivering on the dark water
     I turned to ice to hear my costly
Life go thundering down in a pandemonium of
     Prams, pianos, sideboards, winches,
Boilers bursting and shredded ragtime. Now I hide
     In a lonely house behind the sea
Where the tide leaves broken toys and hatboxes
     Silently at my door. The showers of
April, flowers of May mean nothing to me, nor the
     Late light of June, when my gardener
Describes to strangers how the old man stays in bed
     On seaward mornings after nights of
Wind, takes his cocaine and will see no one. Then it is
     I drown again with all those dim
Lost faces I never understood, my poor soul
     Screams out in the starlight, heart
Breaks loose and rolls down like a stone.
     Include me in your lamentations.

Derek Mahon, "After the Titanic" from New Collected Poems. Copyright © 2011 by Derek Mahon.  Reprinted by permission of The Gallery Press.
Source: Collected Poems (The Gallery Press, 2008)
More Poems by Derek Mahon