Lavate Manus. A poem by Eva Creely

My mother had a saying ‘an itchy palm is a sign of money’………….. how wrong could she be?
On a Saturday, as we went into what maybe is or isn’t a lockdown, I queued for bread, groceries and flowers and then for the first time in months bought a quick pick lotto on the basis that my palm was very itchy.
Was this a sign from my mother that we would be looked after? Perhaps this was the culmination of all those ‘intentions’ that used to be added to the saying of the rosary in the month of May?
I held off til Monday to check the numbers, palms still itching madly.
Line one – just two numbers matched
Line two – just one number and it was the same as one of those online one (how does that always happen with quick pick?)
Line three- Nothing
Nada – not even a free scratch card
Time to face the fact that the itchy palm was something else. Something that has overtaken our lives in ways that impose an order even more impressive than that of St Benedict.

Lavate Manus! /Wash your hands!

On getting up in the morning
Lavate Manus!
On going to the loo
Lavate Manus!
Before breakfast
Lavate Manus!
Clear dishes, clean countertops, load washing machine
Lavate Manus!
Check the post, clean letterbox, wipe door handles
Lavate Manus!
Switch on PC, check emails, news, social media and Trumps latest faux pas
Lavate Manus!
Take the dog for a walk within a 2k radius, avoiding social contact
Lavate Manus!
Finish dinner, wash pots and pans and hide any incriminating empty bottles
Lavate Manus!
Wipe remote, snooze through three episodes of Tipping Point, wake up for Nine o’clock and Ten o’clock news , head to bed
Lavate Manus!
Clean teeth, wipe kindle, charge mobile, take tablets, snuggle down
Oh Shit
Forgot to Lavate Manus!
Finally Goodnight, no more
Lavate Manus!
On getting up in the ……….


Writing has been a constant interest in Eva’s life while working in education over thirty years, rearing a family and making homes in Ireland and abroad. Now the time has arrived for it to come to the fore – although there is strong competition from two lovely grandchildren. But with support and inspiration from the Inkslingers at the Irish Writers centre who knows where it will lead?

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