Gordon Ferris was born and raised in Finglas, a North West suburb of Dublin. In the early eighties, he moved to Donegal where he has lived ever since. He started writing in 2014 and has had many short stories and poems in publications including Hidden Channel, A New Ulster, The Galway Review, Impspired Magazine, and Lothlorien Poetry Journal. He has also won prizes in the summer 2020 HITA Creative Writing Competition for his poem ‘Mother’, and won the winter competition for his poem ‘The Silence’. Gordon was awarded a Poetry Town Bursary by Irish Writers Centre in 2021.
Mother ironed everything in sight
socks, shirts, jackets, trousers
school ties, tea cloths, floor cloths,
they all got thrown into the pile.
Beds were stripped early in the morning
left blowing on the wind
than replaced on our beds.
Once she washed and dried coal bags to return them to the coalman,
He smiled, said there was no need for that.
All habits picked up from her hard, unsmiling mother.
Mother soaked up the pain for her children
to make them feel good about themselves
She looked at the fly on the ceiling
wondered if it was her father taking the shape of the insect
To lovingly watch over her from a higher place
She often thought her past had come back to haunt her
in all odd manner of imagined ways.
Sometimes I imagine I sense her presence.
and smell her distinct perfume
those times I’m so sure She’s there
Sometimes I see her in the corner of my eye
and I get the scent of her cigarette smoke
And don’t be surprised when I turn
that I’m on my own.
I sometimes don’t eat my greens
And cut the crusts of my toast
In her honour.