Saturday, 19 March 2016 20:15

Cherishing for beginners

Written by
in Poetry
1201
Demo outside the GPO, Dublin, 2016
Demo outside the GPO, Dublin, 2016
Photo: Sarah Clancy

Cherishing for Beginners

'The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally....... '
- The Proclamation of the Irish Republic, 1916

Cherish the meek
cherish the ranchers
cherish the guards
cherish the bankers
cherish the virgins
then ride them and cherish their sisters,
cherish tax exiles and entrepreneurs
cherish the rewards of intergenerational privilege
or if that's too hard for beginners
sure cherish the Rose of Tralee for starters,
cherish the goal and the point and the foul
cherish the priest's dirty sheets
but not the woman who washes them,
don't mention her
or what she might need,
go on and cherish the IFSC
and its type of laundries-
those ones are fine, they are grand sure.
Cherish Them.

Cherish the men
because they couldn’t help it
if the women and girls went and fell pregnant,
cherish the foetus, the heartbeat,
but not the person it's in
then cherish the small graves
in their undisclosed wastelands
cherish the shovels
and boot soles that dug them-
let there be no doubt about it-
Yes We Can!
cherish the children
if they're from the right class
aren’t travelling people
and are not for god’s sake
seeking asylum,
don't forget too that we must
cherish the mute
and cherish the sheepish
but hate those in need,
worship Fr Peter McVerry himself,
go ahead make him an icon
but don’t hear what he’s saying
about anything.

Cherish the poor
for how you can use them
to frighten those who are just one rung above
cherish the people
who learned early and often
what happens to those
with big mouths,
cherish your local TDs,
and the crowd in Listowel
who didn't care that he raped her
sure wasn't he one of their own?
Yea cherish the rapist,
why don't you?

Cherish the golf course
and its sprinklers
sure Irish Water will save us
cherish piece work and internships,
and zero hour contracts
aren't you lucky you have a job at all?
Do you not remember the coffin ships
and are you not grateful?
Yea cherish your own exploitation
cherish the school board,
for our lack of gay teachers,
cherish women's place in the home
then cut their allowances,
sure they don’t deserve them
having all of those children
repeat after me- Cherish Privatisation;
and if you don't then you better learn
to cherish the knock on your door
in the morning.
Consider this a warning.

Cherish Dev and Pearse
and blood sacrifice
but don't mention James Connolly
who said until Ireland's women are free
none of us will be, most of all though
cherish outsourcing and remember
your call is important,
you too will be cherished equally
if you can afford it
as soon as an operator
becomes available
which may well take
another hundred years.

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Read 1201 times Last modified on Friday, 29 April 2016 09:26
Sarah Clancy

Sarah Clancy is a poet from Galway, Ireland. Her last two collections of poetry are ‘Thanks for Nothing, Hippies' and ‘The Truth and Other Stories’ published by Salmon Poetry. In 2015 she was named the Bogman's Cannon People's Poet.

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