There will be a monorail that loops rows of wooden shacks
painted in primary colours. The beach, an agonisingly shallow
slant into the mud brown wash of the North Sea,
will be of no consequence to the enjoyment of the holiday.
This will be provided by twentysomethings in Red Coats,
or pirate costumes, pursued by gangs of kids
including me, my sister, and the two daughters
of my mum’s best mate who is also a divorcee
ditched on a crap estate by some bloke (our dads).
We’ll ride donkeys that don’t kick, bite, or stink, and the arcade
will offer games with multiple lives and free credits,
where I’ll clock Paperboy on a ten pence piece. And my mother,
twirled in a blizzard of broken light and Babycham,
while I rock my knees like Elvis, won’t kiss a man and leave.
NICHOLAS HOGG is the author of Show Me the Sky, nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and Tokyo. Recipient of the 2021 Gregory O’Donoghue Poetry Prize, he was also twice shortlisted for the Eric Gregory Award for young poets.