Frankie shows the cutting

to Dolly, who’s upset by what
she imagines they had to go through,
says she was too young to really remember.
She says C’mon, this has got to be sorted out.
That night after work, with another bottle
of whiskey to help loosen tongues,
they sit round the kitchen table
and Frankie shows the cutting once again.
Mam smokes a tab, looks scared
at Dad, who stares at it for quite a while:
I think I did hear something,
he sits leaning with his head in his hand.
Paddy is shocked: Was he, like,
yer kna, interferin wi bairns?
Frankie is firm: No. He wasn’t.
All eyes are on him as he repeats
what Bob Armstrong said,
Dad lets out a quiet moan,
Dolly says: Aye – it’s painful.
But it’s nee good burying the memory.
We’ve had too many secrets in this family.

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