by Éanna, Diarmuid and Thomas (Mullahoran N.S.)
The smell hits you fast in Patrick Briody’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.