Issue #11


Back from fishing he's upstairs tipping
live eels into a full bath,
writhing into figures of eight.
Listen to him cursing with the thud
of the fisherman's priest dashing down.

Mags is frying onions for his Dublin Coddle —
handkerchief optional.
Sear the pork until browned,
mix with stock,
carrots and layered potatoes.
Bring to a simmer,
sprinkle with ground glass.
Leave to stew until meat is tender
or crabbit husband clatters home from pub.
Stir occasionally, season to taste.

She flinches at his reflection
over her shoulder, combing up his hair.
Unlit cigarette attached to his lips,
zipped up jacket sounds the only farewell.
Down the path he turns up his collar,
pushes the gate outwards into the street
like swinging into a Western saloon.

Sit the supper tray onto his lap,
place remote into open palm,
quietly pull the ball-catch on the door.

Karl Riordan