by Rona Fitzgerald

On Dublin’s O’Connell Street in early 1921,
she crosses the road, her daughters holding
on to her hands with ferocious love.

My grandmother, Emily Delany, Muddie –
derived from mother – a name her grandchildren
bestowed on a beloved granny.

As they crossed the road, an armoured car advances at speed,
keeps coming. She stands firm, raises her umbrella,
forces the metal beast to stop, asks to speak to those in charge.

A young man shouts for her to move.
She holds the space, her children shake.
This is her Dublin. Her home.

Many years later, she has a different dilemma;
her best friend of forty years is dead. Miriam Watson
is Jewish, the catholic church forbids attendance at other funerals.

She asks the parish priest. ‘This is a good woman,
a mother and my best friend ever, a woman to mourn.’
He says no, no Synagogue, it is not permitted.

She goes to see the bishop – his answer is the same.
Emily attends her friend’s remembrance, sharing grief
sorrow, love. Tears flow, mourners embrace, there is comfort.

Traditions are different, she tells her anxious husband Denis.
The wish is the same; to remember, to celebrate a life
to bid farewell to a beloved woman, a mother, a friend.

Rona Fitzgerald was born in Dublin. She is published in a range publications; The Stinging Fly, Oxford Poetry, the Blue Nib, Dreich, Littoral, Marble Broadsheet, The Storms. Her poetry books are titled Inheritance and Aftermath.