In the grandest part of Dublin,
At Room 112, the Shelbourne Hotel,
signing of the Constitution of Ireland
took place in Nineteen Twenty Two.
Little grandeur in Ireland then,
mostly no running water or electricity.
Kettles boiling over open fires, coats
drying over the backs of chairs after
drenchings cycling to school where rat
holes strewn over floors alongside
daily beatings & batterings of children.
Today school rooms on the television,
full of art and beauty, lots of books,
Our free education moving us
towards global technology and lots of
opportunities in the wider world.
Mothers allowed keep their babies
as our politicians shine on radio
and television, articulate, empathetic.
Welcoming new people from war
torn countries, enriching our diets,
later they give us cosy restaurants
where we dine in comfort, introducing
a variety of coffees, cakes and food.
Their music and art, acting, singing,
writing, boosting our entertainment.
Now and again we eat takeaway meals,
or go for a mid week break in hotels.
Scrimping all my life to own a home,
now enjoying vast changes in an
Ireland that continues to grow
Through radio programmes we keep on
trying to catch up and spread fairness
as politicians work towards achieving
a greater equality, democracy & human rights.
Reproduced with kind permission of the author. Mary Guckian is a Leitrim born poet living in Dublin. Her poems have been widely published in literary magazines and newspapers. Published collections include Perfume of the Soil, The Road to Gowel and Walking on Snow (Swan Press).