Home Experiences Máthair



We’re delighted that poet Tim Fletcher chose Vent as the platform for his next body of work. This is the first in a series of poems Tim will be sharing. He outlined the inspiration behind this first poem below:

“This is an attempt to deal with the grief I’ve been left with by the recent death of my grandmother, Josephine. I certainly haven’t dealt with it in a healthy or mature way since it happened and I internalised almost all of my emotions, mainly due to not wanting to feel like a burden or a stressor to those in my life who I was trying to support through their own endeavours and difficulties. This internalised emotion, plus a number of other factors, has left me in an unhappy place as of late. I think outwardly expressing my grief is the first step to remedying my current position.

“I have chosen to express this grief through remembrance and re-telling a collection of anecdotes told to me by my mother about my grandmother. These often took place in the context of poverty and hostility, not uncommon experiences for the Irish diaspora in the 1950’s and 60’s.”


By Tim Fletcher

This is your life at its close.
And with it, comes paperwork,
Palliation, and resuscitation notes.
Reckoned as the least cruel course
For you to run. Your whole lot,
Two daughters, four sons,
Pulled up with grit
And not a pot to piss in.
Subsisting on potatoes cast away
By marketeers on Portobello Road.
The filth thumbed from their damp skins
And carried home like golden eggs
Set to see you through another day
Less wanting. So many merry jaunts
With all in tow, haunted by the thought
Of no provisions. Sidling through
The smog of rank division,
‘No Blacks. No Irish. No Dogs.’
No luck.
‘Treat others the way
You would like to be treated’
This maxim repeated til stuck
Fast in their budding brains
And was the last thought
Before they fell away to sleep.
And while they still dreamt
You’d meet the dawn before the sun
And trudge away to work
To graft, to scrimp, to save.
Not a word was muttered of another way,
This was The Mother’s way,
And it was yours.








  1. Such lovely thoughts of a wonderful woman. All of our Mothers/ Grandmothers went through this so that we didn’t have to, they made sure that we had a better life through their struggle and we owe them a gratitude more than we can ever repay -bless them all and hopefully we will live up to their expectations and do the same for our own.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.