Kate Ennals is a poet and writer and has published material in a range of literary and on line journals (Crannog, Skylight 47, Honest Ulsterman, Anomaly, Burning Bush 2, Poets meets Politics, The International Lakeview Journal, Boyne Berries, North West Words etc). Her first collection of poetry At The Edge was published in 2015. She has lived in Ireland for 25 years and currently runs poetry and writing workshops in County Cavan, and organises At The Edge, Cavan, a literary reading evening, funded by the Cavan Arts Office.
Before doing an MA in Writing at NUI Galway in 2012, Kate worked in local government and the community sector for thirty years, supporting local groups to engage in local projects and initiatives. Her blog can be found at kateennals.com
(for my mother)
Blurred. My actions don’t work
Properly. I forget but don’t know until
I realise I have gone wrong. I forgot to
Add cheese; boiled an empty kettle;
Chopped leek not onion. I don’t understand
Why I can’t make a dish I bake every week
She is worse. Repeats. Picks threads from
A blanket. Drops them. Asks nonsensical questions.
Desperation. I watch, try to level
My spirit. Keep my mercury in place.
In the grey afternoon.
She reads aloud the blurb
On the back of Matilda, over and over.
I nod, affirm, again and again.
I am infected with her dementia
Of confused. I feel abused.
After Alvy Carragher’s ‘Mother’
I have just read a poem:
‘Mother’ By Alvy Carragher
over and over:
“You said it was love at first sight”
Mother, I don’t recall you saying that
On this couch where I now lie
where as a child, I snuggled into your woven threads
of bosom and breath
The words, ‘I love you’? No
I would remember
Though I heard the scream
you held at arm’s length
Its tentacles tangled in our threaded embrace.
The Road Taken
It was dark as we crossed the cattle grid, pulled up the Barrack Hill, down the other side, around the mini roundabout, drove the N3 out of Cavan, Virginia, Kells, Navan, Dublin
Spiralling the short-term parking, coming to a stop at the top, and flying. Then travellating to the station. The train stopped at Manchester Piccadilly, a fret of ornate iron and glass
Suspended; industrial, opaque, white bulbs hang in the gloom of winter gloam. Groaning with Northern Asia, Derbyshire, an English winter
Red stone red brick red stone red brick red stone
Rows of town, city suburbs: Hawkeswood, Stockport, Hazelcroft and the Price is Right. We disappear into banks of soil and tunnel. Black electric light blasts into heaving peaks of green, velvet brown
Soft to touch, sloping down. In the sky, a lisp of blue in leaden grey, a flash of Hope, followed by a thrumming cab, to a Sheffield HOME of blue uniforms, snug around a bosom of pinned identity.
My mother in law’s tiny marbled legs attached to a nappy, a bib and tucker. A baby mother. A soft face slack with grace, a momentary greed of interest, forgotten in seconds…then repeated.
Over again. Again. Soon, she tires of not remembering. I go on. Travelling on a train, to London. The carriage lights are dim. There are clicks of zips. Creaks of bags. Whispers of coats taken off
folded. Murmur of pale blue light. Rain squeezes drops down the window pane. I snuggle down in the interim for the linger of journey, the in-between. Chesterfield, Derby, Leicester, St Pancras.
I walk the marble floor that lays the way to Paris, passing cocktail bars, sumptuous shops, silver, gold, chains, and jewels, glamorous hair, bags and suits, leather, barrels of wine
to the Northern line
I wade through a tube of Londoners: a commuter, a son, a daughter, an old man, a student, a worker, a patient, a brother, a sister, an aunt, an uncle, a cousin, an only child, a father
to you, mother: old woman, bright beads for eyes, swaddled in pads and yellow rage, hunched, slumped, lost for words, waiting. I take off my coat, sit down. You are my destination.