Eulogy – Maria Keenan

The drones of your grandfather when chewed
by time – the same bites that curl his only picture –
are waked in crying more blood than water
and are still labelled miracles by the keen

The face of his father is emblazoned on flags,
his mouth curdled by eccentric blood
that he laughed through,
spitting a red scare during difficult, liquid prosecution

All this and yet more and I am the mother
favouring this funeral over a school day
found bunker-deep in berated naivety,
in my stooped nostalgia for our second- and third-edition history

It is the new age and I its milestone
kept warm by parted, quilted envelopes
and boiled, lured eyes:
the viral technology of justice’s scale
keeps its criminals in sharp protection

The grave already has a flesh-tint rust
and epitaph lines from the beer-strewn
passport identity he never kept pocketed
always nose to tail in the
delicious victory of nepotistic flatulence
snorting a bubbling
yaw, pitch and roll of gravitas

He found a centre of gravity in
the three leaves of a shamrock god
I am the mother on its right hand
yet he wilts first for
he was the human, the light and the
fragile ogham work of three crooked dashes

I sat, I stood, I kneeled and fell all to learn:
it is sweet and fitting to die for your father’s heart
it is bitter and crushed when obliged by land

Wrap your body’s thirst around the safest soul
and keep it quenched before all is spilled.

About the author


Maria Keenan, 22, recently graduated with an Honours BA in Creative Writing, English and Philosophy from the National University of Ireland, Galway. She has previously had poetry published in The Galway Review and was shortlisted for the Big Smoke Writing Factory flash fiction award.

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