Stories tagged ireland

A Chalice from Viking Times

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I remember how he’d mop up the oil from the sardine can with his bread and smack his lips together in delight at the taste.

Polishing Fruit

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And your man with the tweed overcoat and trilby? Would you look at the legs on him; Shirley Fucking MacLaine.

The Air Fair Crackling

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These days, she resides in a facility in the north of the city, her once-curly hair now shorn gray on her dappled skull.

Straight Roads & Gentle Swells

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The world is a private one, the container of secrets and shames, of reputations and damage done over years, of stark landscapes and icy skies.

A Dollop of Love

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Mary Magdalene might’ve given him a dollop of love for the terrible pain. There, my father remarked was a woman, a barefaced hussy, forgiven her sins by “a better man than I, Gunga Din,” he’d say.

Empty Chairs

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Martha soaps my skinny bones and washes what she calls my "undercarriage."

Tuesday May 8th 1912. One hour’s burial in the poor ground of Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.

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Dairyman’s Child—the child of John and Jane Larkin—Measles John’s tears soured the milk for all of Sheriff Street for a month

Family—A Triptych

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On a Christmas night, as the bright star shone above a broken manger in a far-off land, doctors and nurses fell to their knees, witnesses to the hand-sized bedsore on his back, flowering all-of-a-sudden into a glorious bright-yellow primrose.

Cut Neatly into Triangles

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In fits of humor he’d send postcards to friends around the country emblazoned with the script, “From the desk of the Bird Mahony,” which, in truth, was a scarred mahogany bar table with unsteady legs.

The Dusty Attic

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Frail lips created the shapes of vowels, the vestiges of make-up in the cracked grikes, her eyes as a baby’s; comprehending, yet not.

Starting Out

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Above the trees at the top of the lane, the Dublin Mountains stretch out in their low granite might, Neolithic graves scattered here and there, and the corries and ribbon lakes carved by the last Ice Age glazed by a winter covering of frost and ice.

On Galway Bay: August 1971.

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Smoke from McDonogh's timber yard rises cumulusly over the city. Off shore a curragh with three men bobs in the heavy swell. Clouds. Green water. The splash of oars echoes.

House Moving Time

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Late Summer. Dublin, 1967.Three children. Three adults. Long car journey.Narrow house-pinched streets.Sycamore.Yew.Horse Chestnut.Stippled glass door.Color unknown. Black, red, yellow?Rectangular glass transom.White ceramic number 9.Bronzed letterbox centered below…

Old Dog, Hard Road

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Panic, the caul of the firstborn burned in the fire, lace napkins bunched into threadbare bags, along with a few faded photographs of the ancestors.

Sitting Shiva

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Mornings, cod liver oil on a spoon. The St. Brigid’s cross beside the front door, tacked to the Holy Water font. The bit of sponge in the well of the font yellowed and crusted, never changed in the years we've lived in the house.