and they comin’ over here takin’
all our jobs and all our women
—Contemporary Irish folk saying
They arrived in the middle of the night
in a Hi-Ace van, untaxed, uninsured,
and broke in without a sound.
They snatched Mary from her bed
and bungled her into the van’s hold
right in between the minimum wage gig
at Freddie’s Fish and Chips
and the twelve-hour a day cleaning job
at the local abattoir.
Imelda was perched
on top of the part-time, no love, all abuse,
glass washer cum sick mopper stint at
Barry’s Bar. They were worried, Mary
and Imelda. More worrying
however, was the smile painted
on the younger lad, John.
He was sat beneath
the Barista’s job at Coco’s Café
where you’d be lucky to get paid
the correct wage, let alone on time.
He had enjoyed being at the mercy
of the Pole’s and Nigerian’s grip,
as ever since he was scooped
into the middle of a hurling pitch
by the spade of his father’s hand
he has always felt like a stranger
in a strange land.