Sunday, June 12, 2011

Frail, Bald and Alone

Cold face of poverty (mp3)

The cold face of poverty

It was a wet November day
on the motorway to Cork.
Waiting at traffic lights
a tiny man shuffled towards me,
frail, bald and alone.

His piercing eyes beseeching,
palms outstretched, imploring.
His face ravaged with fear
his shame stirred shame in me
as I turned my face away,
I saw others do the same.

I felt awkward discomfort,
it changed rapidly
to a sickening fear
as the cold face of recession
the demise of my country
the pain of my people
stood before me
in this little man,
an ache so immense
I had buried it deep.
The bubble burst a year ago
but he had just burst mine.

Faced now with utter revulsion
abject anger towards our government
our bankers and developers
those sneaky golden circles
as my eyes met his
I saw my reflection.

For in his tiny frame,
I saw our fragile nation
a country on its knees
begging for a bail out.

In his isolation
I felt my vulnerability
huge impending loss
as my children face emigration.

In his baldness
I saw the naked masses
poverty and pain
still crushing us, the people

For this little man
is me.


  1. A tragic Irish story here, Maire... and sad to say it goes on.

  2. Interesting that I wrote this months ago, back in November and we are months on and the pain has increased immensely for all Irish, all classes and the next budget will be even harder but we will try to enjoy the summer, less energy bills, cheaper time to live here and we will worry about winter when the time comes. It will be a hard one for many as energy costs rise daily and everything seems to be rising except for the people, they are being crushed which was my word back in November. It will get worse before it gets better, sad times to come but so glad Jim has a job outside of Ireland and Sarah too and James is doing fairly well at the moment as compulsory driving lessons have come into this country just recently so his business is good for now. Thank you for your comments:))