Hiding Out in a Housecoat

The housewife scurries around

Somewhat proud but defensive of her unbelonging

Chores are executed with a silence

Broken only by the songs of Perry Como … lingering in each room.

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The Irish housecoat placed this play

In deference to a mother

Still struggling in a Limerick

Trying to throw out the ashes of poverty

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Poor is not a word spoken lightly

In the cottage

For it brings memories

Of both hunger and shame

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Shame being the saddest of all

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Concealed like rising damp

The coldness and breathlessness of shame

Remains clinging to the singing

Ever ready to explode when exposed by gossip or chit-chat,

provided by the willing neighbors.

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So the cover-up continues

Until a new life

In the Irish cocoon at the cottage

Completes my womb-like isolation

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Until we are …

Separated from both worlds

And the words of Perry Como

Dominate and dress the landscape

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Of us all, in hiding from both worlds

Oversensitive

When the pain comes in from those who dislike you,

Or what you have done,

Or seems you had done;

The fork in the road rushes up.

xxxx

To vilify and engage in debate,

Shredding their argument,

And then their clothes;

Until they are left naked, and your work is done.

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Or listen and pray,

Perhaps then, we might hear what is behind the words,

The critiques, the noise,

And learn what is in their heart.

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Which may tell us what is in ours.