My Parents

Kathleen Jamie

In the hallway of our 50s semi
my folks stand, radiant,
because, I say, You’re dead now.
You know that, don’t you? Here,
come forward; Dad you too,
just a few steps nearer the mirror
framed above your half-moon
telephone table, and side by side
see how your faces glow
now you’re no longer alive
behind the rattly door
that opens to the path which you,
Mum, lined so artfully
with sea-worn pebbles
brought home from our holiday beach,
then the street, where the neighbour’s lad’s
still stripping down his purple Cortina,
and a gang of us bairns is playing
dodgey-ball, ’cause it’s a Saturday
so when you shout us in
we’ll plead: Aw, just a bit longer,
longer, please, till late.

Page 92, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 132
Issue 132

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 132:

Edited by Colette Bryce

Poetry Ireland Review 132, edited by Colette Bryce, features memorable new work from Denise Riley, Kayo Chingonyi, Luke Morgan, Katie Donovan, Nick Laird, and Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, among many other excellent poets. Books reviewed include Seán Hewitt's Tongues of Fire, Caitríona Ní Chléirchín's The Talk of The Town, Bhanu Kapil’s How To Wash a Heart, and The Historians, the incomparable Eavan Boland's valedictory collection. 

The issue also features Ailbhe Darcy's perceptive analysis of Documentary poetry in performance, focussing on Kimberly Campanello's MOTHERBABYHOME; while Emily S Cooper connects two father figures – her own father and the Irish-American poet Michael Donaghy – through their shared love of traditional music; and Adam Wyeth conducts an interview with poet and dreamworker Paula Meehan, to mark the publication of her Selected Poems. Kathy Tynan is this issue's featured artist: her domestic workstations and solitary suburban scenes perfectly capture the zeitgeist for this end-of-year issue.