Herring

Like a different part
of the town, she said,
The Faythe, William Street,
where the fishing people lived.

October to January
was herring season,
sixpence a dozen
when the season was good.

Brought in at night
they shone like coloured glass,
a fresh herring is stiff,
a limp fish is a stale one.

Sometimes lorries came
and always hawkers carts
to take them round the town
Rosslares! Rosslares!
Fresh Rosslares!

Mary O’Brien (from Dicing With the Tide, The Works, Wexford)

Poems

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