How It Was


I have done with going to Mass

And going to the pictures

Roles are reversed

Now they come to me

Computer screen

A button’s touch

A film at my command

And daily mass an item

From anywhere in the land


In childhood days

The Church sent out the call

And holy Romans

We were held in thrall

Attend or go to hell

The ringing of the bell

Bow down your heads

Just about said it all


No telly in those days

So Cinema

Sent out the summons

Today for three days only

Then the picture changed

Another in its place

American movies

Took over our head space


American movies

Roman church

Irish immigration

English language

Protestants all around

Coal mines and cotton mills

Coronation Street

Welcome to my childhood’s holy ground


I left it all behind of course

Except the Roman bit

The Roman bit had swept me in its net

A mere child not yet grown

My own will yet to own

I obeyed the rules

And yes there is regret


But things they worked out fine

Although I toed the line

The man inside was stumbling to be free

And meeting Margaret set the tone

At last my life my very own

Is walking up the road and meeting me


Brian Fahy

2 September 2021

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