Lorraine Carey

'Dressing Up' and 'Boston Common'

Lorraine Carey

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Dressing up.

I crept the three steps to

your room, which smelt

of musty aged breath

and butterfly panic.

Sandwiched between the glass

and a chink in the net curtains,

a Red Admiral, whose

fluttering mirrored my

tiptoed approach.


I stumbled over slippers

to your jewellery box.

Fishing out pearls and the ruby ring,

that swam off my finger and dropped

back home into knotty chains and

clip-on earrings.

Brooches from another life

paid for, with dollars

to pin on collars of real fur.


Sparkles and hallmarks

piled up, a pyramid displaced

in this fisherman's cottage.


You called me for lunch,

puffing upstairs, flapping by in a

flour cloud with your

dentures clapping, in a slow applause-

making a tumble of your speech.

Waiting for the tart to cook,

bubbling under with

homegrown apples,

we sat impatient

as cinnamon, allspice and

cloves wafted in droves

from the scullery.


You promised a tomorrow slice

as the Ford Orion arrived

early with your daughter,

to take me home.



Boston Common

We spent a slice of the day at Wollaston beach

lying on gravel, like spiky aged grout

that wanted to spit us back

onto hot pavements, with our warm

Budweisers and free days,

roaming the suburbs of Milton.


Sidewalk stunned, we stood eyeing the wrong

traffic. Lapses, which could have gulped

our holiday insurance.

Horns pressured into warnings.

We tried to remember......


Instead we dodged bulldozers and dry wells in the streets.

Took ourselves off on the Red line, Braintree booming from

the speakers, amongst the shuffling of commuters.

The guy in Bermudas with his briefcase which, when opened

revealed a lonely newspaper.

My sister eyeballing this kaleidoscope commute.

Filene's cooled us after the complimentary Sprite,

from the paddling pool freezer

that I accepted with suspicion.

My father's, "there's nothing free in this life"

sliding in the canal of my ear,

west of the Atlantic.


World gazing under that tree on Boston Common,

whose sprawling branches darkened

the patch where we sat. Making smoke rings,

with Marlboros, resembling a mutant fish in shorts,

shades and dusty espadrilles.

I sent you back to the shop, with the faulty lighters and you

stomped off, returning with speed and

a little embarrassment.


Your sunburnt calves I saw, before you.

The blip blop of your flip flops sounded

wonderfully lax, at home on the mown

expanse of lawn on that July afternoon.

When we sat adjacent to a city life, that we inhaled

and let enshroud us. Twenty summers ago.


Lorraine Carey


Lorraine Carey was born in Coventry, England and moved to Greencastle, Co. Donegal where she grew up. Her poetry has been widely published in the following : Vine Leaves, The Galway Review, Proletarian, Olentangy Review, Dodging the Rain, A New Ulster, Quail Bell, Live Encounters, ROPES, North West Words, Sixteen, Stanzas and Poethead and is forthcoming in Atrium, Lagan Online and Launchpad.

A past winner and runner up in The Charles Macklin Poetry Competition, she was a runner up in the 2017 Trocaire / Poetry Ireland Competition. She has contributed poetry to several anthologies and her artwork was featured as the cover image for Issue 15 of Three Drops From A Cauldron. Her debut collection From Doll House Windows - Revival Press is available from www.limerickwriterscentre.com. She now lives in Fenit, Co Kerry.



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