My father was Catholic of a true Irish strain
It was a point of honour that from the first
Sunday in Advent he never drew one sober breath
The Lord was toasted / made welcome in every inn
Mrs O'Brien made comments
Jack up the road hinted
My mother stayed indoors
bustling away at all is well
burying herself alive under mounds
of mince tarts / cakes / biscuits / and what-
-ever other suggestions the "Women's Weekly"
had made for this year's fine festive fare
Of course the whole house had to undergo a ritual cleansing
Mum just didn't have time to have Dad underfoot
She was busy preparing to commit suttee with a well lit pud
Mum's pride was her garden She hacked the front lawn
planted two camellias
Don't ask me why she chose such sentinels
In the wee hours when Dad rollicked home
full of song and merry jape
he found them
barring his way
in silent contempt
Alas alack many a bloody duel was fought
he either fell down
legs guilty of desertion or
Mum herded him through the door
We kids snuggled down
"Never heard a thing did we?"
"Don't know what you could mean Mrs O'Brien?"
"Oh yes Jack we've pruned the camellias
Mum's idea she says it's so good for them"
"Oh Father Fitzpatrick Dad's been working ever so hard
all those orders before Christmas
he really does need to put his feet up"
and under breath
"We promise you 0 Lord We will not
place upon his feet slippers of concrete"
Oh? the camellias?
Yes they survived
perhaps vomit makes good mulch
Copyright; Kathryn (Chris) Hamann
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