The Shoemaker

by Éanna, Diarmuid and Thomas (Mullahoran N.S.)

The smell hits you fast in Patrick Briody’s;

the shoemaker’s.

Varnish, glue, smoke and dust, leather,

oil from the lamp and the

sounds of the clanging from his hammer.

The crackle from his roaring fire,

and the chat and gossip from the customers.

But it was this gossip that would kill him.

Speak of the devil-a new man walks in

 wearing a light mustard

jacket and a white peaky cap.

He exclaims “give me some new

soles and make it snappy”. 

He pushes and shoves to the front of the line.

A strong smell of smoke, beer

And leftover ham in his beard.


When the policeman leaves the other customers cheer

as the shoemaker continues to tap and clip

with his hammer on a heel

and the chatter and cheer began again.


Later when they took you from your bed – Patrick Briody

Did you say a decade of the Rosary?

Did you touch your scapular?

The  scapular through which the fatal bullet went through

And on it was written ‘Whosoever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire’.

Patrick, you now rest your eternal Father away from the fire.

Written by Éanna, Diarmuid and Thomas as part of Poetry as Commemoration workshops for 6th Class,  Mullahoran NS, Co. Cavan, led by Frank Galligan in May/ June 2022.