PPE & All the Time in the World, two poems by Sighle Meehan

PPEEach night I said my prayers
my Guardian Angel by my side,
seagulls cried, forsaken souls in Purgatory,
soot-black crows cawed demons out from hell
and hell was near and full of fire.
In the dark
my Guardian Angel minded me.

He was white, with wings.
He dazzled.
I wondered why I could not see him,
why I could not feel him perched
on my shoulder, learned he was

I do not now when I lost him.
He was there at my First Communion
pride of place, holy goodness
shining in our whites.
Gone by Leaving Cert.

He was my friend, held my hand
in the schoolyard, got in the way
when I was robbing orchards or kissing boys,
he had no problem mitching school,
did not mind me smoking,
drinking had him in a tizzy.

He was there that day
when I got lost between the flags
in Derry, whispering uphill,
uphill to the centre,
flickered in and out of Lent-
fasting lit him up
but when I stained my lips,
tanned my legs to dance in Glenamaddy
he hid.
I did not try to find him.

He did not trouble me between the pages
of Chairman Mao, he had left by then,
although he reappeared one steamy night in Spain,
taught me to say No.

I miss him these times.
I have a dog now
and a gun, great when they and I
can pinpoint the target.



I take my coffee to the garden
a corner
isolated from the sting of March

I have sunshine, Heaney’s poems
Hadyn’s music
Tuppy at my feet. I have

Facetime, Houseparty, What’sApp
with seven groups.
Sea spray salts the air

wren are busy in the ivy, a ladybird
lands on my hand
Summer is gearing up

I have cake with purple icing
ginger biscuits
all the time in the world

so why am I crying?

Sighle Meehan lives in Galway and attends Kevin Higgins’ writing workshops. Her poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies including Poetry Ireland Review, Fish Anthology, The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Crannóg, Best British and Irish Poets 2019 (Eyewear), and Universal Oneness (New Delhi).

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