The Poet's Mother

I recall one Easter long ago when you
Watched us play by the ‘Back Burn’,
A country woman of strong frame
And open face, ‘Big Mary’ they called
You but I knew you as ‘Mammy‘.

You were of the soil for you snedded
Turnips and gathered spuds on many
A Derry hill, and the fertility of those
Fields symbolised your own-
Mothering one girl and four boys.

Nothing was ever a bother to you
With neighbours calling at all hours
For a chat, a loan, or a hot scone…
Often I recall the occasion when Joe
‘The tramp’ arrived- that bright frosty
Morning when he entertained with a
Jews harp and your spoons…

Treating him as if he was your lost kin.
Perhaps your action was a salve
For the ache within your heart…
However, since your departure
On your birthday I believe that you
Are with the ‘ould man’ and perhaps
You have met Johnny- that is my prayer.

As you know, Ma , the spring is my
Favourite season, and yearly I observe
The primroses which you gave me,
But they will never replace the flowers
Growing deep within- in a soil which is
Partly your soil- an eternal memorial to
A beloved mother and a loving friend.
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Submitted on February 18, 2016


Liam Ó Comáin

An Irish poet now living in Derry City but originally from Limavady in County Derry in the north of the Island. more…

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