The fates are on a bank holiday weekend
showing off around the long wards.
The spinner spins herself
into a menacing match with a melanoma
(more like a blip really)
Sourface Atropos is dying her hair,
bile green with a streak of infection.
I wouldn’t mind another look
at that lump on your husband’s neck
I love lumps me, the doctor said.
The spinner is spinning like Michael Flately,
her dress is all fatigue and scans
her look is pins and needles.
Could he come to my clinic on Tuesday?
He can go straight to the top of the queue
I just want another feel of that lump
I love lumps me.
The measurer measures her cloth
to suit her ‘covered in bling’ balaclava,
it fits oddly over her radiation mask.
I might admit him
but it’s nothing to worry about.
Sourface Atropos never turns over a new grief
never turns up her nose to a barium meal
It didn’t matter
who got the sisters the ‘Baby Power.’
Any youngster who was passing
was sent up the hill to Hogans,
a promise of two pence for themselves.
When one of the sisters died
the other two got in the bed beside her.
Well tanked up with their favourite tipple
they fell asleep.
That story did the rounds
but the sisters couldn’t care less.
They didn’t fear the dead,
they feared the man with the book
who called every week.
He touched the pencil on his tongue,
a sentence with fractions.
They peered at the small print,
the story of their lives.
In Highpoint Prison
seven sets of Red scissors
are kept prettily
in a glass case
Rita Ann Higgins was born in Galway and divides her time between Galway and Spiddal. She has published eight collections of poetry. Five with Salmon and three with Bloodaxe, including Throw in the Vowels: New and Selected Poems 2005. Later this year sees the publication of a book of her essays and poems with Salmon. Forthcoming from Bloodaxe in 2011 is a new collection of poetry. She is presently working on a play about Hanna Greally. She is a member of Aosdána, “an affiliation of creative artists in Ireland.”
Fionán O’Connell. Born 1961. Trained as a Primary School teacher. Self-taught in photography. Married to Paula with two children Oisín & Laoise and living in Dublin, Fionán has been making a living from his work for twelve years. He has directed several television documentaries: Silverfish Productions’The Goat in The Temple, MOS Productions’ Good Man Mary, Windmill Lane Pictures’ A Quiet Revolution and In Search of Europe.