Irish poet and artist Lorraine Carey has had work published in the following: Atrium, Prole, The Blue Nib, The Bangor Literary Journal, Poethead, Epoque Press, Marble Poetry, The Honest Ulsterman, Sixteen, Live Encounters, Picaroon and The Lake among others.
She has been shortlisted / runner up in Listowel, Trocaire, Poetry Ireland, The Blue Nib Chapbook Competition and The Sixth Bangor Poetry Competition. Her artwork has featured in Three Drops From A Cauldron, Dodging The Rain, North West Words and Riggwelter Press. A contributor to several anthologies, her debut collection is From Doll House Windows (Revival Press).
I knew where I could always expect you,
at the sink, looking out,
wondering, wishing, entranced
by the dance of washing on the line.
You must have peeled a million spuds
and carrots in your lifetime,
shelled thousands of peas,
skinned hundreds of turnips
Scraped hundreds of ruined meals
into the bin, your plastered fingers
hid the screaming cuticles,
the bitten skin, torn as you sat
and watched soaps and waited,
waited for the engine stall,
the flying gravel. The several revs
and his game of wits with the lock.
Mondays never did get any better.
I passed an old army checkpoint,
with my memories. Gone were the towers
and search bay, the camouflaged hut,
the ramps that slowed thousands
of tyres and in turn, quickened
the heartbeats of plodding soldiers.
The obtrusive rifle grasps,
concealed whitened knuckles
under black gloves.
We giggled in the flash light glare,
amid the tuts and stares of our nervous mother
as they winked, made us blush
and place our dolls to the side.
Just roundabouts away from petrol doused rags
and clinking glass empties,
our peers in flared denim
spent evenings stone throwing
dodging the spray of plastic bullets.
We built towers on our laps with one pound coins,
counting heads or leeks and thistles.
Her crown kept her coiffed curls neat.
Years later they dismantled the steel,
lorried it away, signed the darkness
to the past with fountain pens
and firm handshakes from sturdy
oak tables that once heard ambushed
whispers in dark border fields.
They knocked down the watch towers,
unfurled barbed wire that looped
the walls, a perfect curled vortex
of rusted metal knots.
Hope flourished from the road side’s rubble,
only road markings now
to distinguish the divide.
© 2018 Lorraine Carey