Extracts from

The Waistband and other poems

Praise Be

About your 'interior life'
I never heard a cheep -
what's certain is that
those Victorian spooks,
your parents never made
a man of you
with their huffs and hurricanoes
They thought cuddled meant coddled.
Love's like iron to the
growing boy
a baffling necessary abstraction.
On the shopfloor keeping
in the 'good books'
of 'big shots', and 'heid bummers'
was a point of pride with you.
That you were so good
at your job made
Grimm Tales at teatime,
of plaudits from the brass
seem so much paternalistic guff.
No inconsistency between
your political beliefs
and this fawning fondness for a toff's soft soap
ever crossed your bright but narrow mind.
You loathed kow-towers, tongue and bum
men on the make. In the course of that
gruff Port Glasgow rearing, when
you weren't being raised
between 1910 and the Depression
only God was praised.


© Donny O'Rourke, 1997