When nougat was nugget
and Renault was Renawlt
and Ajax of Amsterdam
was said the same way
as Ajax, the all-purpose cleaner
or the fearless hero of Troy—
he who led the Greek attacks
and covered all retreats.
When Gerd ‘Der Bomber’ Müller
hadn’t an umlaut to his name
and Madrid was not Real but real
and I got stuck on delicatessen
while reading Minnie the Minx
because we’d no such thing in Enniskillen,
I could have told you, all the same,
what brand of religion you were
by how you said aloud
the townland name of Derrychara—
with the hard ch of church
or aspirated and without.
Derrychara or Derraharra—
that’s to say Doire Chara
meaning the oakwood of the weir.
Or, as a friend of mine suggested,
Doire Chora meaning pot,
cauldron or swirling pool.