Monday, July 10, 2017




She had great courage
sitting  behind them in the courtroom
They sat in a row flanked by their solicitor

At break time
her solicitor suggests doing a deal
This was not a market place –
Or was it?

Bargains made about a child’s tomorrow
he warned about emotions –
fine for him, he had no ties with you

Said he could fight it out but advised
it was prudent to be directed
by the judges comments

Two years, he said -
she stalled – then down to one
she stalled some more –
a six month review

He brought her the care order
read it out -
then when signing it she said,
‘this doesn’t mean I love him any less’

Her only recourse -
her hand guided by the law
her tears ran down as she gazed
through rain rattled windows

Then her grief turned to anger
releasing pent-up pain
numbed with shock
heavy with hurt
the leaden lump of injustice

‘As and from now’, they said
‘the care order comes into effect
but we’ll let you keep him tonight’

As if they should be thanked


She asked if she could take
blossoms from the cherry tree
She cut up an old cereal box
she was as happy as could be

I saw her stick the blossoms
all around a cardboard square
In the centre of the frame
she placed a picture there

She said, ‘this is for you
But the flowers will fade fast’
A child’s gift so special
The memory will always last


Velvet reed mace by the lakeside
swans glide on the mirror serene
Buttercups gold among grasses
In heat haze a calming scene

I sit on a mossy stone relaxing
the lake a reflection of sky
Fluttering along just beside me
A beautiful orange tip butterfly

As I retrace my footsteps
The butterfly flutters so free
Spirit of a long lost loved one
Descended to accompany me


A regular task
almost elbow-deep in suds
Steam rising from the tub
a bar of Sunlight soap
vigorous rubbing of grime
between reddened thumbs
shirt collars scrubbed
then wringing out to rinse

Whites bubbling on the boil
the magic smell of clean
Laundry pegged out on the line
whipped up in a breeze
Starched tablecloth
flapping to and fro
drying in the sun
the washing warm from the line

Creases ironed
sheets smoothed
stacked neatly in a press
bygone rituals of orderliness


MARGARET O’DRISCOLL is an Irish poet, living in Cork, Ireland, mother of seven and grandmother to eleven. Her work appears in various journals and anthologies internationally and many of her poems have been translated into several languages including, Polish, Bulgarian, Persian, Finnish, and Punjabi. One of her poems appears in a current GCSE English Literature Exam Publication. In 2016 she published her first collection, ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free’, it has received rave reviews. She was awarded a full bursary to attend The John Hewitt Summer School in 2016. Several of her  pieces have been rearranged and recorded by a classical singer. She has been interviewed by  the poetry editor of Panorama an international literary journal.