By Maura Faulise

Featured Art: “I Feel Like Pieces” by E’Lizia Perry

Pulling out of Dingle Bay 
in the rental van that rainy day 
after singing to the tunes 
of the fiddle player in the family pub, 
my father drove red-faced 
and under the influence 
of what I now know 
was nostalgia 
for the affair he’d just ended 
before flying us over the ocean
to kiss the Blarney Stone. 
He mumbled her name at the wheel,
and something about O’Shaughnessy’s
fine music and the fountain of tears
and the Celtic rain.
When the van slid off the road
and into a field of peat, he punched
the gas to get us out
but the wheels stuttered in the cold mud.
Unconcerned with our fate,
we four kids sat stiff
in the backseat, doe-eyed
and glued to the rhythm
of our mother’s timorous noises.

I don’t know what moved him
– the relentless gray sky
or the lightning hammering
so close to the metal,
but he looked at us one by one
for a while
before opening his mouth to sing
of the long-long way to Tipperary,
where the heart remains
and he got us singing too,
broke us down the way he always did
amid claps of thunder,
angry rumble or applause,
I just couldn’t be sure.

Maura Faulise’s poetry has appeared in the Connecticut Literary Anthology and San Pedro River Review. She is Assistant Professor of Writing and Literature at Community College of Rhode Island and a contributing editor of the Ocean State Review. She completed a master of arts in Teaching at Brown University and currently studies poetry through Pacific University’s MFA program. 

Originally appeared in New Ohio Review 29.

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