Extracts from

The Waistband and other poems


Your custom often
when the house was still

to brew milky coffee
and reminisce.

Child care experts would have frowned
on my late hours,

the bitter adult drinks
and the frothy confidences.

Yet your stories stopped my mewling
and continued as I grew

me tending the fire
you talking of Ireland,

more real to your first born
than the younger ones who slept.

Those nightcaps, Mother,
were our hushed bond.

And though, for twenty years now,
I've drunk my coffee black,

I'm not weaned yet
of that rich, warm milk.


© Donny O'Rourke, 1997