tagNon-Erotic PoetryThe Irish Wake Table

The Irish Wake Table

bygreenmountaineer©

We covered with a tablecloth
knots that looked like liver spots
and leveled two of the legs with shims,
reminding us of a dead uncle
who, even in the heat of summer,
tottered in his long sleeve shirt.

While we dined on blackened salmon
and drank claret in candlelight
we also spoke of women mourning
whose rosary beads rattled midnight
when they keened around the table
in their blackest hour shawls

who nonetheless, Aunt Katherine said,
also diapered babies there
as once we did with Elizabeth,
the smell of whom would have pleased them more
than votive flames and Cavendish smoke
from clay pipes pointing towards heaven.


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