Porcelain swans glued down to vanity mirrors,
filled to the brim with primroses; melons
poached with brightly painted poppy seed heads,
fashioned to resemble Easter bunnies; hubcaps
painted sunshine yellow, protruding with tulips;
the unexpected pinnacle of creativity is this
parish hall in Newcastle. “God love them” these ladies,
ladies gathering cackling community.
“God love them” they bray beautifully, bathing
one another in the solidarity that comes with a life
well lived: mothers, grandmothers, sisters, godmothers, great grandmothers, even.
I won a flower bunny in the raffle; “Me!” I cried, claiming
my prize to claps, whistles, gags. A well
of youthful energy raptured by age, they are nourishing
to watch, these relics of the old ways —
steely wit and warmth — the ladies
of the village: arranged
amongst the lilies and willow branches.
Rebecca Gutteridge is a British master’s student studying Irish Writing at Trinity College Dublin. Her academic interests lie in gender and material culture, and her poetry – while finding freedom from the rigid constraints of academic writing – follows similar themes. Her lyric is set within dislocating domestic spaces, playing on spatial awareness and distance to convey a sense of alienation. Childhood often invades present concerns with love and loss as a twenty-something. More recently, her writing has been shaped by the move to Ireland, expatriatism and the uncanniness of cultural similarity within differences in a postcolonial landscape. Rebecca has also been published in the Belfield Literary Review.