What can you see from the top of Benbulben?
Two hundred kilometers is a long way to drive to give someone a hug
who has not seen another human face in five months
except the postman and the DHL delivery man
and the young buck from Dromahair that delivers the coal
and maybe the Aos Sí who come to say “Look! Look at Binn Ghulbain in the distance!
Nach bhfuil álainn í?”
But poitín warms the heart and soul
She will be the envy of all the other butches on zoom
Chain smoking Pall Malls with her newly acquired side shave
It was an act of trust based on a steadfast belief
that all queer girls instinctively know how to cut hair
Experience has taught her many things
How to weave electrical wires to make the world move faster
and how to make everyone else’s life more convenient
how to mother
She once tried to make lucite paperweights after a DIY orchiectomy
twenty-eight years ago
to give some purpose to that which was neither use nor ornament
A ginger cat walks across the stone floor covered in curls
as she keeps an ear on the quiet road for the postman
waiting for the box from Moldova that keeps her alive
in spite of disdainful warnings from self-appointed sentinels
who don’t mind at all if her ringlets grow an oak tree
The next time she sees the DHL man in his yellow van
he will deliver her daughter’s ashes.
Stephanie Ní Thiarnaigh is a poet and writer from Drogheda, Ireland. You can read her work in Pile Press, Splonk, A New Ulster and eleswhere. She co-hosts the Irish Mythology Podcast and tweets at @stephie08.