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