By Christine Byrne
NOTES ON AN IRISH FUNERAL
My father notes I’ve stopped cutting my hair
(I had sun poisoning and an agenda)
Notes the weather. And my figure.
I was disturbed by the distance
of the rearranged and less in love, of Irish funerals
where we drink too much
& mom, away with her guinness.
It was an inconvenience to my other life—
The white hair,
white hands, white
Flashes of childhood, gripped and flinching
An over-blonde mother’s craze,
Vices. God. Pork tenderloin,
inchings and inklings
I never planned on coming back home where every building
Is greased with where I stood with my fists at my chin,
screaming hit me then throwing myself
Barres of Irish funeral, where my father, fatherless, scoops my face—
God they’ve done a number on you
& the salmon sheet walls
& the pastes of vintage photographs
the little Irish prayerbook, to be buried
& both my parents
disassemble his life
In the room of whispering guests.
CHRISTINE BYRNE was born and raised in Norwalk, Connecticut. She is currently an undergraduate English major concentrating in creative writing at the University of Connecticut.