Rita Ann Higgins


Philomena’s Revenge

As a teenager
she was like any other,
boys, the craic,
smoking down the backs.

Later there was talk
she broke things,
furniture and glass,
her mother’ s heart.

‘Mad at the world,’
the old women nod,
round each other’ s faces.

But it was more
than that
and for less
she was punished.

That weekend
she didn’ t leave a cup alone
every chair hit the wall,
Philomena’ s revenge.

Soon after
she was shifted
and given the shocks.