dash
 
Also known as Ö
 
Announced by her parents as Bridget Mary,
they made the same mistake as the registrarís pen.
Nobody heard the paper shrieking another name
until her little brother arrived and called her Mira!
She crossed the sea and liked an Englishman.
He liked her too and offered her his surname.
The sugar in her smile turned to salt in his tea
so he gave her another new name: Toots!
Demure as a petticoat and saucy as a garter
with the elastic wink of a blue comedian,
know her signature by the exclamation mark.
I inherited her crooked little fingers, four Morton toes
and a thin slice of rebellion, folded into decency,
a contrast to those shocking servings of Mummy!
Play fighting with her sister on a street in Cork,
squeezed into vests cut from orange carrier bags,
while name duelling Mira! Peg! Mira! Peg!
and in her 70s exposing shapely nylon legs
for an admiring male neighbour. Mummy!
 
and yet ... full of principles,
collected like large scented candles never to be burned,
while the tea lights were lit in memory of the dead
in a church where she knelt, prayed and giggled.
It didnít matter, they had excommunicated her
for daring to marry a Protestant.
 
She told me the Virgin Mary had visited her.
I believe you as she hid mashed potato in the armchair.
By now she was numbed into sleep by the packets
prescribing a rebrand to Morphine Mira, infused with
her friend Hypoxia. It was enough to make her gasp.
You can never get too much of Hypoxia, or is it too little?
She confuses everyone she meets including
Morphine Mira who calls me a bitch. I ignore her,
watching my mum slowly sign into the sky.
Donít worry mummy, He knows your name.

 
Susan Wilson

If you have any thoughts about this poem,  Susan Wilson  would be pleased to hear them

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