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GLEN WILSON

 

 

Glen WilsonGlen Wilson lives in Portadown, Co Armagh with his wife Rhonda and children Sian and Cain. He has been widely published having work in The Honest Ulsterman, Foliate Oak, Iota, Boyne Berries,  North West Words, Snapdragon Journal, Blue Max Review, The Screech Owl, Yellow Chair Review,  A New Ulster and The Interpreters House amongst others. In 2014 he won the Poetry Space competition and was shortlisted for the Wasafiri New Writing Prize. He was runner up in the Glebe House Harmony Trust poetry competition in 2015. His work also appeared in the 2015 Making Memories Anthology and in The Stony Thursday Book 2015. He is currently working on his first collection of poetry.

 

 

 

Taking Soup

 

 

 

We have been standing here long enough to see

that the ladle was engraved Sheffield Steel.

 

The missionaries had come to the town, handing out

a few loaves with promises of more if we would follow.

 

We had left while it was still dark and were on the road

before our neighbours would be up for morning mass.

 

Sean O’Kelly had already told me what he thought.

“I won’t have anything to do with them John!

 

I had helped him bury his youngest just five days ago

among many fresh mounds of earth at the graveyard.

 

The queue moves slowly even with seven servers

filling up the misshapen bowls with a slivery broth.

 

The man from the mission gives us some tracts, words

we can’t read and looks solemnly at Briege’s rosary beads.

 

She lays them down in a bucket near the hall door,

says goodbye to these pearls of a ‘Babylonian Whore’.

 

Mary McElmurray helps her husband towards a table,

dragging his gammy leg, she turns to me and nods

 

before quickly looking away. We had been something once

But they were other people, children from another parish.

 

It comes to my turn and I let the steam rise into my nostrils,

feel the warmth trickle down my parched throat.

 

A young girl hands me a hunk of bread, “bless you” she says,

I chew wildly until my jaw aches and watch my children eat.

 

Soup dribbles through the bristles on my chin, I slurp sacrilege

and new sacraments with the same grateful tongue.

 

 

 

©2016 Glen Wilson

 

 

Author Links

 

Follow Glen Wilson on Twitter

Announcement of Glen Wilson's at Poetry Space Competition win (2014)

'The Nails': poem by Glen Wilson at Ground

 

 

 

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