“Hounslow 1997” by Niamh Twomey

Niamh Twomey


I am swallowed up in a red winter coat.  
Dad is collecting me for the weekend. Car keys 
clink in his giant hand like the mobile of soft stars
that soothe me in bedtime dark. 
The car door is a monster yawning. 
I don’t know where we’re going 
but I clamber into the car seat,
sit with legs swinging while he buckles me in. 
Maybe he will offer me a jelly from the glove-box,
a secret treasure chest Mom doesn’t know about. 
Dad is good at keeping secrets,
always zips his lips and throws away invisible keys.
As the car starts I hold up an offering.
All morning at my playroom easel I was painting this;
myself, small. Dad’s head bumping off the sun. 
If he says he is proud I’ll paint another one. 

from Rattle #79, Spring 2023
Tribute to Irish Poets


Niamh Twomey: “I am inspired by Irish folklore and by the wildlife and landscapes I see around me in County Clare. When I sit down at my desk, I need only open a book by any of my beloved Irish poets to feel inspired.” (web)

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