The Catholic Curse

My grandma had a filthy mouth
despite her clean and blow-dried hair
that, yellow at the root, soon curled
to white, but tight, just like the pair

of lips that went through endless mints
and pinched around her cigarettes
and swore. She'd tell you straight (daft sod)
each time she did, in case (he gets

right on my bloody nerves) you hadn't
clicked. As if to say, you see
what I put up with? I'm a martyr
to these kids, these men, this knee!

That's swearing, that is! Then she'd sit
defiant, frail; her hands would root
and fuss inside the leather purse
that smelled of aniseed and fruit.

Reflective then, a humbug each,
we'd suck. I bet that Jesus swore.
Well, look at what he had to cope with!
No idea could please us more.

One Sunday as the incense bloomed,
she muttered, and her hearing loss
announced her thoughts a bit too loud:
Just get me off this fucking cross!

Mark McDonnell

If you have any thoughts on this poem,   Mark McDonnell  would be pleased to hear them.