Sunday, March 18, 2018

Claddagh

I've got an Irish name, but I've never been there.
In fact, over there I understand it's a boy's name--
mom and dad were expecting such. Surprise, surprise!
See, I was contrary from the get-go. 

I've got Irish all up and down one side of the tree--
they'd sell ya a car with no wheels 
and you'd thank them, smile, and miss them after they were gone
with your cash in their pocket.

Don't be bitter when you read that, they're none the richer for it by now.

The other side of the tree is stodgy English.
All they'd do is frost the windows with their personalities,
take a fearless and searching moral inventory of everybody else,
and petrify from excess of reserve.

Guess which side I take after? Aw, Daddy, you're always the one.

When I was young--just a lass...joost a lasss...how's that? Oh shut up.
Anyway, there was this man, James, who could drink as much as I could,
was ten years older than me and knew the Poets. 
He'd been all around the world.

I was with him in Detroit, in Texas, in Manila and in Denver.
We wandered through St. Louis and New Orleans, drunk as ducks.
One day, he disappeared, nobody knew where, and I never heard from him again.
Thanks, James, even so. Here's a half-Irish smile for ya. I miss you.

And thanks for not going into my bag--you'd have found the pawn ticket
for my Claddagh ring because I had to feed the stray I'd fallen for.
_________

for Weekend Challenge "Blarney Me."



 
 

14 comments:

said...

Swooning. I have a similar backstory.

So much love for this:

"Guess which side I take after? Aw, Daddy, you're always the one."

Also the ending. :)

Kerry O'Connor said...

My name is also a boy's in the old country, and I wear a claddagh ring.. guess I take after daddy's side too.

;-)

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

My first love was a brown-eyed handsome man. Love your story.

brudberg said...

It's always Daddy I guess... in my case the stern Lutheran kind. Sounds more fun with that Irish blood...

Cloudia said...

"because I had to feed the stray I'd fallen for."

Such a great finale line, and so you.


[yes: finale]

Brendan MacOdrum said...

Something about the real story never does quite add up. My mother's side sounds like your English frostburghers -- a fearless inventory of them would probably freeze my words, too. Yet still, I get my writing from her, somehow. The Irish are forever broken, i think -- gorgeously so, as you write here.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Loved every word of this. Especially the line about feeding the stray you'd fallen for. Smiles.

Old Egg said...

I so loved this and wanted it to go on and on.

Margaret said...

This has the same feeling as the one where the little girl sits on the steps with the priest - never forgot that one - except perhaps this Irish lad is a bit of a cad - but perhaps that's the nature of the Irish wanderer... ?

Susie Clevenger said...

Oh, the wandering spirit can breed so many stories. I had it in me when I was young, but my feet were planted so deep in country dust I could never use my wings.

Mama Zen said...

"take a fearless and searching moral inventory of everybody else."

God, I love that.

hedgewitch said...

I find it amazing what lives in our genes and plays such a role in who we are...in the old days, before the head shrinkers and commies and other such modern and post-modern revisionism, people felt that they were born into who they were and nothing could change it, from their trade to their very souls--I do think we know better now, that we are all individual anomalies, influenced by a thousand things as strong as blood and bone; yet still those genetic refrains haunt our lives. This is a strong and ever-so-you narrative of such, Shay, and if nothing else, offers the comfort of an explanation for the inexplicable quandary of who and why we are, and what makes us ourselves.

Gillena Cox said...

Nice one!!! enjoyed the music


Linked in late
much love...

grapeling said...

well, you are peerless among storytellers. no irie or Irish or anything like that in my line, but damned if my dad didn't have some blarney powder tea or something. ~