Moya Roddy

The Girls on my Street

I envied the girls on my street
their slapdash mothers,
cigarettes dangling,
ash falling
while one or other
bent to wipe a child’s dirty face,
a lick and promise;
nobody bothered with facecloths
except us culchies.

They didn’t mean to be cruel,
the girls on my street,
it was only a bit of fun.
Wasn’t I asking for it –
with my red hair, a heart
open as a country road.

This poem first appeared in The Children of the Nation: Working People’s Poetry from Contemporary Ireland edited and introduced by Jenny Farrell (Culture Matters, 2019)

Moya Roddy © 2019