All those bones.
All those bodies.
All those secrets.
And where are the daddies?
Who split the thighs,
spilt the seed
who hid and ran
as the missus carries the load.
Where are those daddies?
Those fine upstanding pillars.
Come from good stock.
Well known. Well regarded.
Where daddy and grand daddy
split thighs and spilt seeds.
Where do they go to my lovies?
Flight of the fucking pillars.
And you – Mother Ireland – believe
those days are gone.
What of the bent and twisted spines,
crushed livers, spleens and ribcages.
Flooded lungs drowning day by day.
Ireland’s vision of the best place for children in the world.
And still you line your pockets, your coffers,
while the crush goes on.
Rotten mouths and crumbling teeth.
Dentists on their knees upon a
suppliant child while doctor takes pliers
and pulls, tugs, the sawing of tender gums
and bone until the socket lets go with a wet
The clink as it lands in the stainless steel bowl.
This year’s allotment funded. The one beside
must wait – give the toxins time to rot gum, tooth and bone.
No matter the pain.
And still Vera walks. arthritic knees, tonsillitis,
driving March rains, sleet and dank cold.
260km, a second time.
Cork to Dublin.
To fling herself prostrate at the Dail
who’d wish you gave them more time.
Time your wee ones don’t have.
Time that no one gave the bones
and bone-dust settled on the Tuam grasses,
where wildflowers refuse to grow.
And Ireland, Mother Fucking Ireland –
your people wail, rage and still you line your
pockets, your coffers.
While your people sleep the streets,
tent cities and cardboard mattresses.
Just a space to call home.
And Maurice who was good, of fine standing and
integrity you bent and bowed
and urged him break
And his wife
You whipped over and over
And still he did not break
Yet still you pushed your lies home.
And the people who flee these shores
don’t only abandon country and kin –
with suicide the only other option –
They leave in droves, and sure why
There is nothing here but rank waste.
And the good ones?
The thousands, millions who stay
because they believe in
Mother Fucking Ireland?
It’s time – time to untie these binds.
I wrote this in reaction to today’s Commission report on the Tuam burial site
Illustration: ‘800’ by Annie West
Earlier: Our Worst Fears