I have been published in some small print 'zines, on an Irish blog, placed second in the a Whiskey Island Magazine contest, been in two local anthologies. I am a MFA in poetry and a mother of two sets of twins. In my previous life I was a master's level social worker.
my daughter and I see a mile wide
steel fence and barbed wire. . Inside
the prison farm, cows chew their feed.
Soon my cousin will be there: after
his third DWI, after another
failed bout with demons and doubled
drinks. How could a child
fathom this regimentation of life?
How one has to train the mind to live
without bending to a time of closed
doors, to sounds of harsh metal clanks.
We drive in silence past the outside
stillness of reeducation.
I donna like to think on it .It was cold and there tweren’t no fires. We was down below in the dark, where there twern’t no water or air. Bejesus! It smelled to high heaven. The babies there cried, caught the fever and died.
And all of us off to Amerikay
I regretted my time away from God and Sunday mass. Lucky I was, or St Padriag took pity. We called it the coffin ship - but there twern’t no coffins only the bodies pushed into the ocean with murmured prayers for the dead. And the motherd’s with their worries about resurrection an’ what would happen; - bodies soaked and sunk into the depths of a dangerous sea.
And all of us off to Amerikay.
I heard the wonders of the land and I believed them, I did. I worked the Erie Canal and survived the flies and sickness. digging up dirt with feet in the water and mud I learned to dig fast as fast as I could. There were other deaths. Jimmy and Pete, my friends, got sick and died. I went on to other jobs laying bricks and building. Good and fast I was made me a boss they did. But I never got back to Sunday mass.
An all of us livin in Amerikay.
I found on my laptop a well written piece full
of detail and feeling. It touched and wrapped
me with its palatable pain and anger She was
angry with me for trying to grasp a life of my own
angry with my all consuming love for writing, angry
with my sister and her godmother’s unplanned circus
sideshow death. We mothers are doomed, giving up
our children day by angry day Like Anne Frank, her
put upon father married to that witch. They can’t be near
us; don’t want to be with us. The baby and toddler are gone
gone with their need for only you in the crib wanting only you
gone with their kisses ;dirty hands and faces
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