President Michael D Higgins (centre) presents Roderic O’Gorman, Minister for Children, Disability Equality and Integration, his seal of office watched by Taoiseach, Micheál Martin at Dublin Castle last June

Kevin writes:

A new poem inspired by President Michael D signing the Mother and Baby Homes secrecy bill. Apart from the bit about the fourth world war, which hasn’t happened yet, it’s more or less a true story.


When you finish reading this poem,
you’ll remember only
the Black Forest Gateaux
I bought you once.

I had no option but to vote for
that tax on women’s shoes
but greatly admired the fight you put up against it;
have kept all the press cuttings,
especially those that took care not to mention me.

As you, me, and the mirror know
I’ve always been a great
pro-choice advocate;
that’s why I spent thirty years
never mentioning the issue.

When I stop talking
all you’ll remember is
the Black Forest Gateaux
I bought you once.

When I signed this bill to keep
what we did to the children secret,
you, me, and my bodyguards know
how vehemently I’m against it.

Trick is: what to remember
and what not,
because of a Black Forest Gateaux
I ordered you once.

The history books are littered with
shit I voted for but was against
in the restaurant afterwards,
as I eyed the Black Forest Gateaux
and thought of you.

And as I explain at length in my book
‘The Art of Statecraft’,
when the Fourth World War descends
and the division bell rings,
I’ll have no alternative but to leap up –
with nothing in my heart but peace –
and, at best, abstain.

As you’re vapourised
you’ll remember nothing
but the Black Forest Gateaux
I fed you once.

Kevin Higgins

Previously: ‘My Department Engaged Extensively With The AG’s Office’

8 thoughts on “Having His Cake

  1. Michael

    Why would you conflate MDH’s time as president with his time as a TD? The scope and exercise of powers for both roles is completely different.

  2. GiggidyGoo

    “When you finish reading this poem,…”

    It’s not a poem. It’s prose, with a few carriage returns put in to make it look like poetry.

  3. White Dove

    Love your poems, Kevin, and I get it completely.

    Irrespective of their constitutional constraints (and did he even bother to discuss the issue with the Council of State) a President who feels strongly enough about the actions of the State he represents always has the option of resigning.

    This is not a once off, but a pattern of behaviour demonstrating a fundamental dissonance with the feeling of current Ireland, and certain character deficiency.

    14 years is too long. Indeed maybe 7 years is too long. They get too comfortable.

    If the argument he could do nothing is accepted, why do we need a President anyhow? To act to concierge for foreign citizens of doubtful antecedents visiting stud farms? To show the quality of life that a materialistic older person can really have when no expense is spared and no indulgence refused?

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