Sinead McClure

Sinéad McClure is a writer and radio producer. She lives in rural Ireland with her husband Jho. Sinéad has been writing and producing drama for children for almost 10 years. Sinéad’s poetry often looks at darker themes. In common with her writing for children, she is immersed in a sense of place, the environment, and the people, animals or things that inhabit it.

Tea & Sympathy
for Mam

It was the last thing my mother gave me
She was standing in the kitchen
Waiting for me
With this tea for one, teapot.
“Would you use this?” her west of Ireland cadence lost now,
her voice a whisper.

Before I left that morning she had it wrapped in paper, waiting by the door.

It was the last time I saw her stood on her doorstep,
a doorstep of welcomes, smiles, hugs, and promises of tea.

Recently I have taken to tea for one.
A few cups at breakfast, then at three
and a brace to finish off the day.

There is something about drinking from a cup that seems more contemplative
I think it is the way you’re forced to lightly hold the handle,
to tip the wide brim towards your mouth, sip it in, savour the tannins.

I remember my mother and how she did the same,
sitting in her armchair, feet tucked underneath her, like a teenager.

It was the last thing she knowingly did– the nurse told me—
She sat up in the hospital bed, her legs folded, tea cup in hand.

© 2020 Sinead McClure