You collected me off the train in your Daihatsu Fourtrak
made for cattle and dirt with moss on the window rubbers
with mam not home, you asked, will we go to the chippers?,
plumpness only got you snogs from fat boys, but I was starved
we ordered two burgers and chips in the ‘Friendly Fryer’
she shouted “I can do you another burger for nothing if you’d like?”,
over the frenzied chips in the fat, the mincemeat
gulping and gasping on the hot plate
the snack box meal picture desperate to be noticed by day,
you’d know by her she hated waste, “it’s our last day,
the health inspectors are closing us down” and she gave us
our brown bags, the fat making them shiny on our laps
as we laughed and blew and ate and waved the heat
and said how would anyone say such a thing?
we can still laugh at that,
my mother mostly answers the phone now.
Poetry Ireland Review Issue 123:
Among the poets offering new work in the final Poetry Ireland Review of 2017 are Orla Martin, Catherine Phil MacCarthy, Harry Clifton, Erin Halliday, Alan Titley, and Nan Cohen, while the Featured Poet is Belfast sensation Stephen Sexton. The books reviewed in this issue include new titles from Michael O'Loughlin, the late John Montague, Biddy Jenkinson, Aifric Mac Aodha, Mark Roper, and Colette Bryce's Selected Poems. Also included is editor Eavan Boland's examination of the life and work of the late John Ashbery, and the reasons for his pre-eminence among American poets of his century; and an evocative tribute to the late Gerard Fanning from his friend Gerard Smyth. The artwork for PIR 123 comes from the SO Fine Art Editions gallery, and the issue concludes with nine intriguing questions for Michael Longley, posed by fellow Belfast poets Stephen Connolly and Stephen Sexton – followed, of course, by nine intriguing answers.