Dónall Dempsey

(15/07/56 / Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, Eire.)


Before we knew
anything at all about sex

we knew
all about our birth

Our Mam
would recall & regale us all
(setting the table...peeling spuds...sweeping out the hall)

with the intimate

of all
our births.

“Tell us of US again...Mam...tell of us again! ”

I was small
(2lbs 2 ounces)

hardly anything
at all.

A mere scrap of
human being.

Blathin Ashling
was even smaller

(1 lb something or other)

...a little miracle.

Was it Deirdre
with the cord wrapped
around her neck

fighting both
Life & Death

‘til she was blue
In the face

Or Grainne
with the cord so thin

she was born just in
the nick of time

& the cord(just a hair’s

floats eternally now
(in a glass of formaldehyde still)

for doctors to astonish
& marvel at.

And how
there being no incubators

when I came into being

they had to wrap
me up
in cotton wool

(as if I were a
precious thing)

in order to keep
me warm

but I wasn’t having
any of it

kicking my way
out of the stuff

only for them
to repackage
me again!

And again...& again.

And here(in 1956)
I arrive on the scene

tip toeing out into

with cool coal black
full length sideburns

ready to rock
& roll man

as the labour ward radio

the hit
of the day


It’s almost as if
I can still hear
Doris singing

our whatevers
will bes.

Our birth

each our
first fairy story

& we

the Prince & Princesses
of it

Submitted: Friday, February 15, 2008
Edited: Monday, May 12, 2008

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (BIRTH STORIES(for Linda) by Dónall Dempsey )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Tales Of A Wife: She Wants To Stay, Onyekachukwu Vincent Onyeche
  2. Rest my case, Nassy Fesharaki
  3. de tijd is een philosophie, co the skipper
  4. Coach journey home, Mark Heathcote
  5. Another Barn Burns (don't call 911) .., Monk E. Biz
  6. Confirmation, Yuliy Valenko
  7. The bee Haiku, Sambanath Denis
  8. The Slight And Sorry Words, Sambanath Denis
  9. On A Painting, Sambanath Denis
  10. The Day Your Mother Kept For You, mary douglas

Poem of the Day

poet Christina Georgina Rossetti

Where sunless rivers weep
Their waves into the deep,
She sleeps a charmed sleep:
Awake her not.
Led by a single star,
She came from very far
...... Read complete »


Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]