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Picture 11078611, image copyright Mary Evans/brandstaetter images/Helmut Nemec

by Lorraine Carey


Grandma kept cuttings from parent plants,

gifting seed packets too with exotic names


when mum wed, moved across the water

to industrial chimneys and grey high rises.


My mother could grow anything from seed

and as transplanted shoots flourished,


she brightened too. Black strikethroughs from

her bingo marker denoting an impending visit home.


I watched her kneel, tend to clay, seed and root,

the garden heady with rose and lupin scent under


charms of delirious goldfinches. From an open window

shrouded in voile, she heard roots stretch in city soil,


light years from turf stacks, briny air and a cacophony

of screeching gulls tailing trawlers loaded to the scuppers

in a little village, where anonymity has no place on the tongue.



Picture 11078611, image copyright Mary Evans/brandstaetter images/Helmut Nemec



Originally from Donegal, Lorraine Carey now lives in Kerry. Her work is widely published in Ireland, Britain, Australia, Asia and the U.S. Her poems feature in Magma, Orbis, Poetry Ireland Review, The Stony Thursday Book, Trasna, The Cormorant, Crowstep Journal, Panoply, Prole, Gyroscope Review, The Honest Ulsterman, The Alchemy Spoon, Abridged and others. Her art has appeared in Skylight 47, North West Words, Barren and Olentangy Review. A previous winner and runner up of the Charles Macklin Poetry Competition, in 2022 she was runner up in the Trocaire/ Poetry Ireland Competition: shortlisted for The Bridport Prize and The Allingham Poetry Prize. Two of her poems featured in The Seamus Heaney Centre Podcast – Showcase Episode 2020. Her debut collection is From Doll House Windows (Revival Press)

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