Gordon Ferris – Mother

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

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  
ironed  
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 
And see  
that I’m on my own. 
 
I sometimes don’t eat my greens 
And cut the crusts of my toast  
In her honour. 

 

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