You picture yourself riding the waves
in a timber galleon, torches blazing
skull and crossbones waving,
sporting an eyepatch, feathered hat,
cutlass in hand, giving orders like
chips and sausages for supper, an
unending supply of chocolate caramels
and popcorn. If only you’d been born a pirate
like your Dad, from abroad, rough and ready,
giving orders, brawling. But you’re just a boy
born to a mother bred on manners
and you have to stay seated at the table
eat all your meat and veg, use a knife and fork,
sit still, not grab, say please and thank you.
In your dreams you sail around the world
kill with cannon, maim with swords.
At night I hear you whimper, crying out with fear.
Running to your side I scoop you up,
move you to my big warm bed, stroke
your silk-soft hair, marshmallow face til
feeling loved, you close your sleepy eyes,
ready to resume your battle
so rudely interrupted.
Faye Boland is winner of the Hanna Greally International Literary Award 2017 and was shortlisted in 2013 for the Poetry on the Lake XIII International Poetry Competition. Her poems have been published in Three Drops From a Cauldron, Tales From the Forest, Skylight 47, The Yellow Nib, The California Quarterly, The Galway Review, Literature Today, The Shop, Revival, Crannóg, Orbis, Wordlegs, Ropes, Headstuff, Silver Apples, Creature Features, The Blue Max Review, Speaking for Sceine Chapbooks, Vols I and II and Visions: An Anthology of Emerging Kerry Writers.