Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Poem: An Irish Story

This is not a sad story,
this is something else,
a small voice saying she is worth more but another going,
‘ah go on, who do you think you are anyway?’

Its Fr Ryan, and her Da and one particularly cruel teacher
who used to take the ruler to her with no provocation.

She is adept at pretending,
the kids sitting outside the pub on Sundays
and calling that an outing.
She loves them practically,
clean knickers and (mostly) full bellies,
big loans from Tommo in number 6 for shiny white communion dresses,
but the youngest has her heart broken all the same,
what with the fucking language out of her
and continuous summons up to see the Nuns
who make her ashamed of the state of her best coat,
sneering at the her,
and no amount of smacking is any use in making her behave.

Just like her mother, not having sense enough to shut up,
mouth on her like a fecking fishwife, and useless to boot.

She is ruthless in her rearing,
dragging them up,
mortgaging all her hopes on them getting the Leaving Cert.
The eldest was pretty enough to be a model,
before she got herself into all that trouble
and ended up living down Stoneybatter
with a mewling mouth to feed and dirty boots under her bed,
so it was a waste of time,
all the nagging her to get to her books.
Jesus wept but she made eejits out of the lot of them,
going around with that bump under her school jumper,
such a clatter she got when it all came out,
she’d had to drag the aulfella off her,
damage done anyway.

I’ll teach ye, ye little bitch, you’re nothing but a whore,
riding God knows who and ye needn’t think it’s staying here.

She used to have hopes for herself,
a nice house in suburbs,
maybe her own little job in a shop
just for pocket money like,
get her hair done the odd time,
or bring the little ones for sticky buns,
but that was before all the babys,
one after the other,
and he wouldn’t hear of using anything,
saying it’s like washing your feet with your socks on,
and no chance of the other, not with the cost of it.
Once she joked he should tie a knot in it,
and he left her eye black for a week,
think you’re clever,
she should of kept her gob shut anyway,
by now she should know better.

Sure theres a pair of them in it, always caterwauling,
for all his fists, she's been known to take the frying pan to him.

The neighbors gossip about her,
there but for the grace of god
but sure, what else would you expect from a scut like her?
And those kids,
out and about all hours destroying the peace,
sure it's no wonder that they turned out the way they did,
and her with her airs,
her ma was a real lady muck too.
God forgive me,
she asks for it really,
but that man leads her a dreadful life.

Forgive me father for I have sinned, it's the thoughts in my head
but Jesus knows things are bad, likely I'd be better off dead.

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