Sean Walsh

I live in Dublin, Ireland. Sometimes. Most times I live in my head, quite unaware of my surroundings – if you know what I mean… If you succeed in tracking Sean Walsh, please let me know, ok? I've been searching for him for years…

Ave Maria

Published on Friday 10th May 2013 by Sean Walsh

Blessed art thou amongst…

Are you there – or are you on your travels?

Above – or beyond in Yugoslavia?

I, I’m never too sure when I have you,

to be honest. But then, you’re a female.

So I don’t find it all that surprising…

My mother was always there and me growing up.

When I got home from school or in off the streets

or back from the pictures or after a football match

or, or if I was in a fight with some other gang,

she was there. Always seemed to be – there.

‘Can’t remember a time she wasn’t…

There was this shrine, as I recall.

Oh, well known it was, locally…

We walked the three miles, there and back.

Out the country. ‘Summer’s day…

Me still in short trousers,

‘boots that needed mending.

Six miles in all. A killer…

‘Knelt for the Rosary. Nudging, gawking around,

stifling a giggle… Every bead a penance…

Grass trodden underfoot by previous pilgrims.

The tree and the hollow, the rock and the glade,

the stream where we filled our bottles to carry home.

Our salute to you wafting out on the warm, still air:

Calling to pray… In sweet tones announcing… Ave… Ave…

The Lourdes statue marking the ledge

where you appeared… whenever it was,

to whoever it was… reputedly.

We had you to ourselves in those days –

before you took off on a world tour…

Holy Mary, Mother of God…

And mine.  My mother. Are you? Really? Hmmm…

Well, I’ll tell you, straight up: they’re not all like you.

Women. Some of them can be right – ah, well, no.

I won’t say it out. ‘Too much respect for you.

Pray for us, sinners… Now and at the hour of…

You came through it all, fairly well, so they tell me.

And now you’re on a direct line to Himself –

easy access, unlimited credit,

excellent equity, buoyant stock –

in-interceding for us…

All I’m asking is that you put in a good word for me –

hoping you’ll understand, even if He doesn’t –

so when the time comes

I won’t be caught on the wrong foot…

Okay?.. Okay, then…

God, I’m hopeless!

‘Can’t even get through a Hail Mary

without going off the rails…

                                                               from Notes on the Past Imperfect.

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