Saturday, July 1, 2023


 By John McGrath

A faded photograph hangs on the wall,
My mother beaming proud as any peacock
By a gleaming new Ford Anglia.

When times were tough, and love was not enough
Her trips to Cobh and Shannon kept us fed.
My father wouldn’t eat ‘til she got home.

She’d learned to drive a milk float in the war.
Her eyes still danced and sparkled at the telling,
How the farm boys whistled, and policemen smiled.

An extra pint for Irish girls abandoned,
Tied to their children when their men went home,
Reluctant for a fight that wasn’t theirs.

Once a year she took us to the seaside,
Boot piled high with sandwiches and cake.
Hot water from a woman near the coast.

Her car sits silent in the shed now,
Dust-covered, cobweb-shrouded.
A blanket on the bonnet to keep out the cold.

©April 2006 John McGrath

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