At the fireplace we toasted bread with the long bronze fork
And also roasted any spuds remaining from the dinner
The GPO was in flames overhead
And poor Pearse and Connolly were really dead
‘You treat this place like a hotel’, my mother often said
And ‘waste not want not’ ’til the cows came home.
She played the piano in the parlour
Rousing rebel songs relived her stress
While “Gortnamona” calmed her too-full days.
My father’s shed was his refuge
Except for six o’clock and Radio Eireann’s news
Silence was demanded and he stopped his mending shoes
He smoked his pipe of plug tobacco
Pared a match stick for to pick his teeth
The pen knife I remember and his skill with the carving knife
Criss crossing with the whetting stone, he me amazed
I have never felt as masterful as he, in all my days
Bio: Michael is a retired teacher in Dublin, Ireland and is the last born of thirteen! This poem describes the home he enjoyed but to leave at the age of ten due to his father’s death and his mother’s need for work, thus making her unable to always be at home for Michael.