For Love

by Patrick O’Sullivan


From Brandon Creek, a rutted ‘boreen’ retreats into the mountain.

Along its choking length, a ‘sceach’ ensnared wheel-hub -

Obstructing our passage, a Cadillac -

Obscuring the home behind and below.


Ducking through the doorway into the darkness,

Blind in a lack of light within.

Down onto the cold stone floor of a kitchen

Where the Sacred Heart flickers.


Through the window, looming Brandon stretches to the sky.

Through the window, light falls on the square, red-deal table

Its patterned linoleum scrubbed vague

Twenty Marlboro Red as centre-piece.

In the cold-hearth, a ghetto blaster proclaims U2

Its music resonates in the cold chimney-stack.


From the room beyond, stepping over child-seat

An immigrant bride with child in arms

Bright smiles and wild eyes, ignite her welcome for

Home girls, All-American embrace.


From the darkness of the stairwell,

Withering hands and welcoming arms

Woman of the house, not to be denied.

Failte romhaibh isteach.  We’ll wet the tea!

Husband and son half-listening remarks,

Nil aon tinteán mar do thinteáin fein.