Maureen Curran

In My Defence

Maureen Curran

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I have swerved on rain-slick roads to avoid rabbits,

other times felt sick when I realised that thump

was a cat there was no avoiding.

I’m not one for bringing home strays,

don’t get me wrong-

I’ve never repaired a broken wing

but I make a show of myself at funerals,

to the point I don’t do wakes unless I really know the people,

and they know the kind of me.

What I’m arguing here is there is nothing in my nature

that accounts for my reaction when my mother phones tonight,

telling me you have collapsed.

The news doesn’t take a flinch out of me,

no regret is drawn to the surface, there are no tears to divine

from some deep well where better feeling might have survived.

In the car I listen to Arena, sing along with the jingle.

I park up; leave the hazard lights on as asked

to mark the house for the ambulance driver.

I go to the kitchen where you are lying in the recovery position

and I think how like a badger you are,

and smaller than I would have guessed.

My sister is on the phone, mother is packing a bag,

I watch awareness shudder through you, your eyes narrow.

You try to lift your hand. Your leg scuffles on the floor and you raise your 


I say don’t move motherfucker. No I don’t, but I think it.     

Maureen Curran

Maureen Curran is from Donegal. Her poems have appeared in Boyne Berries, Crannóg, Envoi, Poetry BusRevival, the Stony Thursday Book, Skylight 47, online at Lake Poetry, SouthwordSpontaneity and Word Bohemia. Her flash fiction has been published online by She blogs with her group at and Tweets @maureenwcurran 

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