Pat Boran, The Mistake, a poetry film screenshot

The Mistake: A Poetry Film

A mistake in childhood may prove to be a lens through which the past is more clearly visible. A poetry film by Pat Boran. With thanks to the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, for its support.


One power-cut storm night,
almost fifty years ago, I set
a dancing candle down beside a drape,
and might have burned the whole place to the ground.

Even now I see my parents’ startled faces,
my dumb mistake itself a kind of flame
set down in the dark to light a scene that,
though half a century has passed,
remains so bright, so clear
I might yet replay that moment
their initial looks of fear
turned first to something closer to relief
then, in a flicker, turned to love again.

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