Theresa McCormack – Three poems

TheresaTheresa McCormack comes from Cobh, Co. Cork, looking out on the sea. She is married and has two children. She enjoys photography and writing poetry and is a fan of the Cork G.A.A.


(in Cork dialect)

The blinds are down and the teachers are on holliers,
For a week anyway’s says Stephen
Otherwise known as “Stevie Blunder”.
Its the midterm boys he says matter oh factly,
Just like an old Grand dad.
He runs passed the playground doing the aeroplane.
He zig zags his way passed the teachers,
And does a full stop at the gates.
Turning like a top on his new DC’s
The ones his ma got him for being good
He searches for his friends face.
Call for me after your dinner Ricky he shouts,
Ricky gives a big thumbs up
“I will Stevie, after me dinner”.
Stevie waves goodbye and trots down the street
A euro in hand for a dib dab and jellies
Stevie rules the world.
The perfect mothers chat and cackle like witches
Leaning up against the red brick wall
With their very best cardigans on….
Oh my Sean is very academic says Margaret,
So is my Paul another retorts,
‘Sher once their happy says another,
Ain’t that the main thing,
And they all nod together in agreement
And I laugh inside.
I wait for my blue eyed boy
Away from the crowd,
The blonde ‘wan chews her chewing gum
Just like its on springs.
She looks me up and down
Like I’m from another planet.
She thinks I think I’m someone special,
But I don‘t, I know I’m only me.
Out of the corner of my eye
A head that is familiar to me
A swagger like jagger,
He walks the walk and talks the talk
Does my boy Jack.
A spring in his step today,
And the devil dancing in his eyes,
He’s won the lottery ,
He’s hit the jackpot
Schools out for a whole week.
Today Stevie might rule the world
But Jack rules the universe.


The seagulls soar
On the crooked shore
And the wind did roar
As the storm it bore….
On a windswept day
Great oaks did sway
Where the Herefords lay
On that January day.
And the steam it rose
From their mouths and nose
As they lay in rows
While the wild wind blows.
And gusts of leaves
Danced on the breeze
And swished through trees
Then drowned in seas.
Black crows like priests
They took their seats
On branches deep
And closed their beaks.
But the wind blew wild
Like a restless child
And it shook the tide
From side to side.
But the seagulls glide
With grace and pride
From deep inside
The storm so wild.


I went to your grave today
Just to touch base
Just to bring you flowers
I feel guilty if I don’t go there.
I feel empty when I go there because I can’t see you
And then I end up having an argument with myself saying,
“She’s not there, its only earth and bric’ a brac,
Its only dirt.
I walk past a wind chime on Baby Paul’s grave
And take a moment
A small Thomas the Tank Engine Truck lies there,
Battered by the weather.
Battered like his mother and fathers heart
No doubt a little piece gone now,
They must have only half a heart each I say
And I breathed out a sigh.
I put a pebble on his gravestone to show I was there
An old Jewish tradition I like
But the wind blows it off
And the pebble is gone, just like Baby Paul.
And it hits me, yes, nobody is untouchable,
Babies can die too,
And I think how innocent they must be
And I feel lucky to have my own two.
I carry on along the gravel path
And look at the concrete Angels with their arms outstretched ,
Reaching for the heavens
I wish I could reach up into heaven and bring you back sometimes.
But I know I can’t and mumble to myself to grow up,
I sit by your graveside talking to you
Telling you I’m sorry for this time and that time
And regret visits me again.
I think of that morning I never went to greet you
I never spoke hello,
And I wonder how I could have known
That it would be my last time hearing your footsteps or your voice.
Then I console myself quietly
Remembering how cruel you could be to me
Whiskey was always your saviour,
And I tell myself that whiskey was your true friend, not me.
I always come away feeling you heavy on my shoulders
And my visits make me remember you even more,
I wonder why I came,
I feel empty.
I turn the car to drive off and there on a wall is a blackbird
Right in front of me,
I stare and she goes about her business
Feeding her young in the wall of the cemetery.
She thinks they are hidden but I can see her duck and dive
As she feeds her longing chic’s
And though you are still heavy on my shoulders
My sadness seems to fade.
I get out of my car and look without disturbing
I hear them call to her,
There in a crevice in the wall of the cemetery, where all is dead
There is life.
And I remembered how once I told you I liked blackbirds,
On a garden bench in the sunshine,
When sunbeams hit your face and you smiled
And suddenly I was not lonely anymore.


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