Marie Hanna Curran resides in Galway, Ireland. Her poetry and short stories have been published in Ireland, the US and India and her column “Musings from her Couch” can be read in the magazine Athenry News and Views. Her first poetry collection Observant Observings, was published in 2014. To see more, visit www.mariehcurran.com.
DEFILED MY FATHER by Marie Hanna Curran
I blame the British for my father’s problems,
The way they used us Irish to farm their lands
And so it’s come as no surprise, to find my father in his sixties
Bended back and knees, calving cows, sowing grass seeds.
This man, my father, works past the sun
Knowing nothing of the word retirement,
Knowing only that it was his father who bought this land
Worked and died doing so.
My father’s identity is so wrapped up in each sod of earth
That as a child, I was referred to as His Daughter - never my mother’s -
And I was nurtured on zealous stories of my ancestors,
How they hailed from the Parish of Glenmore and how my cousin Pat owns that land now.
This word ownership means nothing to me now
And in this active nothingness
I’ve defiled my father, my father’s father. I’ve defiled My Father.
LIMITED HORIZON by Maria Hanna Curran
Trees, thick leafed trees of April
Through to thicker early autumn
Encompass my horizon,
Seeing beyond Cloonkeen, Gurteen
Hold my back from Balymac–
Their constant summer teasing
Filling up, greening up
My pegged fence line.
Only I know come late autumn
And into winter, I’ll catch my glimpse again
Prolong my view beyond this one room Parish.
By then, Hungary’s one hundred and ten mile fence
Across its Serbian border
Tasked to hold optimistic migrants back,
To keep them out of view
Of European leafed trees, keep them in view of peep holed wire
Throughout autumn, winter, spring. Again–
Will be joined by bigger fences, bigger struggles
WORK OF SOME GOD by Marie Hanna Curran
Work of some God,
She’s thrust into our world ovum to calf
Known only to us as Five-Legged-Calf,
Dad settles all giggles
With pure mathematics:
The cost of her milk worth less than her life
As an amputee calf.
Work of some God,
She vacated our barn
To be re-cast again.