for Nuala Ní Chonchúir

Children ignore her
Or think her thrillingly mad –
Bright young things dandling
At summer tables
Find her an embarrassment
             The outstretched hand,
             Her whingeing voice –

She spoke, once,
To the river in flood
Even as bright umbrellas
Flared over white tables,
Triangular sandwiches
             Served on sticks,
             With lathering cappuccinos –

You are the great
Green queen now, Ireland:
Look at you! The bought-and-sold
Face on you, the smug gut –
What bought you can sell you,
             What’s left is myself
             The mother of all of you, begging.