Kevin Conroy has been published in The Irish Times, the Stony Thursday Book, One by jacar press, the moth, Tales From The Forest, THE SHOp, Southword, Burning Bush II, Boyne Berries, The Blue Max Review, The Curlew, Sixteen Literary Magazine, erbacce, The Runt magazine, Skylight 47. Accepted for the Ireland Chair of Poetry Anthology 2020 and appeared in Poets meet Politics & Hibernian Writers anthologies. Runner-up in The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2016. His debut collection is to be published by Salmon Poetry.
This is the manic hour
of flitting phantoms
people banked on
The friend next door advised
a loan at 30 percent
Collect it every Tuesday
so I could pay the rent
The moneylender pays her
a discount of 10 percent
and now I’ve made a bags of it
with all the money spent
I could have kept on at the ex
I should have asked the ma
I would have but so hard to beg
shoulda woulda coulda ah
There’s Johnny’s birthday tracksuit
not to mention gas and food
the rent, HP, electric
books and uniform for school
There’s bargains in the charity shops
smalls and socks – join Penney’s queue
Coal and nappies from the Vincents
but the trainers must be new
There’s Lidl for the perishables
Food Appeal for rice and tea
With mince there’s lots of possibles
Toast and tea for me
We’d fun today in the park
a picnic, and swings – higher and higher
Then eating roast marshmallows
and drying our hair by the fire
I long to hold my babies,
to chat and have some fun.
Ah, it’s just the panic hour
of things to do, things undone.
Once Joe was a marathon man
till his friend, the driver in the cab
and left Joe to stutter on on stiff pins.
Once Ruth was a marvellous mom
till hubby Andy who was a shooter
and left Sonny to freeze in the foggy field.
There was no reason for man and mom
to be as I knew them
somebody else they trusted too.