Strawberry Tarts and Swan Vestas
Rickety smile under the Ramsay beak.
Eagle… hawk… chatterbox bird,
ma clerty, ma flower, they chanty-wrastlers.
Clink of dimpled glass in a horseshoe bar,
brass rim holds up the camaraderie of strangers.
Sulphur scratch of a match, putter puff of pipe in palm,
coppers pinched from pockets for a garrison of grandweans.
Cap on tight for an early start in Clydeside smirr, trousers
braced to breastbone, wide enough for two city bakers.
For my first Holy Communion, though priest and penance shy,
best spread in the hall. Chocolate boats, strawberries in sweet liquor.
Maureen Cullen writes poetry and short fiction. In 2016, she was published along with three other poets in Primers 1, a collaboration between Nine Arches Press and the Poetry School. She has poems published in Prole, The Lake, The Interpreter’s House, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Reach Poetry and Salopeot.