Archive for March, 2019

Operation Demetrius: Part V “Still Waving”

Still Waving

I wake up

It is morning again

Mammy is not smiling

She is shouting

At The Big Girls

To get dressed

Get up! Get up!

Get dressed!

She hurries me and Clodagh

Down to the kitchen

We have porridge

With milk and butter and sugar in

Up to the bathroom, you two

Quick! Quick!

Mammy is helping us to

Brush our teeth

It is sore

She wipes our faces

It is sore

Clodagh is scrunching up her face

I crunch up my face too

Even though it’s not that sore

We are both trying to get away from the facecloth

Then Mammy is dressing us

Both at the same time

In matching trousers and jumpers

She wipes the dirt and leaves off off my jumper

And it is sore on my tummy

Coz my belly is full of porridge

She is packing our bags

Grabbing what she can carry

Running down to the car

Then back up again to get more things

And running down to the car again

Don’t leave anything behind!

She shouts

Into the car with you all!

Get in the car!

I won’t tell you again!

You already went to the toilet!

Okay, well, hurry!

Quick! Quick!

Get in the car!

Mary Margaret!

Get in the car!

Therese Bernadette!

Get in the car!

Sheonagh!

Get in the car!

Keara Patricia!

Get in the car!

Clodagh!

Get in the car!

Mammy carried

Patrick Leo

On her lap

Leo! Get in the car!

Now!

Daddy is driving

Grannie is waving at the gate

In front of The Big Green Hedge

The one I couldn’t look over

Now I remember the spider

I forgot to bring her lemonade

But it’s too late now

She will wonder where I’ve gone

She might be thirsty

I promised her

Come back soon, says Grannie

We will, we say, through the open window

Grannie is waving at us

And we are waving back

Safe trip, says Veronica and Angela’s Mammy

God speed!

And she waves at us as well

Veronica is waving at Sheonagh

And Sheonagh is waving back at Veronica

Angela is holding her teddy

I wave at her and her teddy

But she does not wave back

I want to tell her about the spider

She watches us go

I don’t get to tell her about the spider

I look at her, and wave

But she is not waving back at me?

Why is she not waving back at me?

Mrs Kettle is waving at me, smiling

So, I wave at her instead

Her head is hanging off on one side

And bobbing about like it’s going to fall off!

She is standing next to Grannie

She holds onto Grannie’s arm

Maybe that will stop her head from falling off

We are all waving from the car

All the windows are down

We are all shouting

Bye! Bye! Grannie

Bye! Bye! Mrs Kettle

Come again soon!

Says Grannie

Mrs Kettle says

Please God!

Yeez’ll be back, surely

Be good

Smiling, laughing, waving

Grannie is blowing kisses

To us

And she is

Waving

And she is

Waving

And she is

Waving

And she is

Waving

And she is

Waving

And she is

Waving

And we are all still

Waving

Still

Waving

Still

Waving

Still

Waving

Still

Waving

Still

Waving

Still

Waving

Still

Waving

Still

Waving

The car reaches the top of the street

We are all looking back

Still waving

But we can’t see Grannie any more

Still waving

We can’t see Mrs Kettle any more

Still waving

We can’t see Grannies House any more

Still waving

The car turns

Up The Falls Road

And Mammy is crying

I have a funny feeling in my tummy

No more hide and seek

No more sheets billowing in the wind

No more secret passageways

No more tiny spider

No more wee yellow flowers

No more wee white flowers

No more Hopscotch on Grannie’s Hall

No more Cling! Cling!

No more Veronica and Angela coming out to play

No more soldiers smiling down at us

No more green sandals on red brick paths

No more Grannie’s homemade cake

No more Grannie’s homemade lemonade

No more fireworks

No more Barricades

No more Bangor Boat Away


The Bangor Boat’s Away

It has no time to stay

Blow your horn

For Indian Corn

The Bangor Boat’s Away


We are all still looking back

And soon we all stop waving

And everyone is quiet

And Mammy says,

Roll up the windows!

And I am thinking

Why Can’t We Go Back To Grannie’s House?

 

Falls Road 71

 

 

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Operation Demetrius Part IV “Barricades”

Barricades

I like the red bricks in Grannie’s street
I like the big green vans and the soldiers too
They smile down at me and Sheonagh
And we smile back up at them
We are going to find our friends
Veronica and Angela
To see if they want to come out to play

Soldier and kids at Checkpoint

The soldier bends down and asks us where we live
We tell them, we live in Grannie’s House
Just up there!
But it’s not really our house
We are here on our summer holidays
We live in Glasgow

The soldiers put their arms around us
And ask us if we are enjoying our holidays
And we say, Yes

I like the soldiers
They are nice
They make funny faces at us
And we laugh at them
We make funny faces back at them
And they laugh at us

Sheonagh sticks her tongue out at them
And they laugh again
Then they drive away
They wave at us
In their big green trucks
Smiling
With guns

Soldier smiles at a little girl

Veronica and Angela’s path is all red shiny bricks
Not like in Glasgow with red stones
Which sometimes are sore in my shoes
I like how my new shoes look
On the red bricks at Veronica and Angela’s house
Veronica and Angela
Asks their Mammy if she can come out to play
Her Mammy says yes
So we go out to play

We play Hopscotch
And Skipping
And Leapfrog
And Barricades

Soldiers and Roller Skates

Mary Margaret is playing Barricades
With her friends in the street
And we are watching them
But Mary Margaret doesn’t let us play with them
Because they are The Big Ones
Even though I am nearly four
Sheonagh said she is one of The Big Ones
But The Big Ones say she is not a Big One
Because she is only five-and-a-half
And they are nearly eight

We are too little to play with The Big Ones
So we make up our own game
It is called ‘Barricades’ too
But it isn’t as much fun as their Barricades
Because we don’t have as many people as them
And can’t fill up all the spaces on the road
So we just sit down on the pavement

And watch The Big Ones play Barricades
And it looks really fun

belfast-no-way-out-1970-001-kids-behind-fence_0

I cannot wait to be nearly eight
So as I can play
Barricades
With them

If you’ve never played Barricades before
I can tell you how to play it if you want:

Well everybody lays down on the road
And everybody jumps on top of each other
To make a barricade
So as
 no Protestants can get into our street
If a car comes you do not let them pass
Unless they know the secret password
And then if they know it
We say “Open Sesame”
And everybody who is in The Barricades
Has to run into the side of the road
To let them drive past in their cars
Then someone shouts “Barricades” again
And everybody jumps onto each other
And blocks the road with their bodies
Until someone else comes along
And we ask them if they know the password
And if they know it we let them pass

I like playing down Grannie’s Street
Playing Barricades looks really fun

ABA1972004W00009-15A

Grannie says she needed to go to the shops
For some messages
And I ask her if I can come
And she says yes
She says if I am good girl
I can have a sweetie

She makes me put on my coat
And my rain-mate
She brushes my hair
And spits on my shoes
Then wipes them with her hankie
All ready to go!

Granny holds my hand
We walk up to the big road
And I see all the people
Running around
Granny says it’s really busy today
So I must hold on to her hand
Tight
Falls 71 soldiers and woman chatting

There are lots of Taxis
And The Taxi doors are open wide
And people are nearly falling out
It looks really fun
But not if they fall out
Coz it would be sore
We didn’t get in one
And I was glad

Me and Grannie cross the road
To go to The Post Office
And Grannie says we must go quickly
Or we’ll get knocked down
The taxis are driving really fast
I hold Grannie’s hand
And run over the road

We do not get knocked down
Thank goodness

Grannie meets a lady in the street
With a nice furry coat on
I touch it at the bottom
And it feels nice and soft

Terrible trouble, Mrs Doyle!
Terrible business, altogether!
Margaret’s three boys are away
And Himself only home!
Terrible! Terrible!
She’s beside hersel’
Aye, terrible business

This yer Granddaughter?
Oh, she’s lovely
Clare’s is it?
Aye.

She bends down to talk to me,
Wat’s your name?
I say, Keara!
How are ye likin’ yer holidays, Keara?
I say, Nice!
Is it nice seein’ yer Grannie?
I bounced my head up and down again
Are ye gonna get a sweetie in the shop?
I bounced my head up and down
Ah, that’s nice. You be a good gierl now
Fur yer Grannie
Ye 
hear!
And maybe yeell get a wee sweetie at the shop!
Would ye like that?
I say, Yes.

The Lady with the furry coat stands up
And says to Grannie,
Ah, dear heart!
God love ‘er!
How many does Clare have how?

Six, says Grannie
The baby, Patrick Leo, only two months

Is that right? Oh, bless!
What are they gonna do?
Are they gonna go back?

Aye, ah think so
She was thinkin’ o’headin’ oan down te Donegal
But doesn’t want til drive through Derry

Aye, ah thinks it might be better tae go back tae Glasgow
See how the land lies?
Better be safe than sorry!

Aye!

Maybe for the best, not great round here at the minute
Heaven knows what’s comin’ our way
Dreadful business!
My ones woke wi the clatter
Terrifyin!
And on the holidays too

Ah, aye, I know, tis indeed

Poor Clare!
Give her all my love
Will ye?

I will, surely

Terrible business
Terrible trouble, altogether!

Aye

Here, did they come on the boat

Aye, the boat

Overnight?

Aye

Lion_1967_02_sp1080

Does she take a cabin, Clare?

Aye, oh, aye. She takes two


Oh, aye, well she’d need the two, right enough
Wi that brood on her hands

Aye!

Lotta money there
Bringin thum all over
Payin’ for a holiday
Only to go back

Boat Cabins in the 70s

Aye!
Well. That’s life!
Can’t be helped
How’s your Frank?

Aye, not bad; not bad
Considerin’
He’s still waitin’ fur the all clear!
Getinn’ there
Aye
But he’s still bloody smokin!
Anyway, Mrs Doyle, ye’ll be gettin oan
Yee’ll have a lot til do
You get back tae yer family now
While ye still have thum!
Sure I’ll see ye again
I’ll pop round, next week

Aye, right ye are
That’ll do

You take care now!
Look after yerself’
See ye later
Be safe!

The lady with the furry coat
Bends down
Holds my shoulders
And Says,
Bye bye, now, Pet
You be a good gierl,
Keara, now, will ye?
I nod
God bless!

And then the lady with the furry coat
Walks away, waving back at Grannie
Who waves back at her
I wave too, holding Grannie’s hand
Then I see another taxi
With people falling out of it
And then we go into
The Post Office
Black Tazis

The Post Office smells of stinky feet
The lady behind the counter says,
Terrible trouble, isn’t it, Mrs Doyle?
Grannie says, Ah, ‘tis terrible!
And hands over a wee book

The lady in The Post Office
Gives Grannie some money
And stamps a mark in her book
And gives it back to Grannie
Grannie opens her purse
And puts the money in
But she keeps some pennies out for me

She shows me where the sweeties are
And tells me what ones I can have
Pick one, she says
And I see an orange lolly pop
“I like that one!”
Okay, says Grannie,
And she hands over the money
And the lady hands me down
The lolly pop
I look up at her and say,
“Orange is my favourite colour”
The woman and Grannie laugh
But I don’t know why it’s funny

Two Grans and a Child

 

 

 

 

Operation Demetrius Part III – “The Boys Are Away”

“The Boys Are Away”

I woked up today
In my Grannie’s house
And 
Mammy was already there
And smiling at me

A great big big smiling face
Like a face that was happy
And she walked so so slowly
Over to me in
my cotty-bed
She then lifted me up
And kissed my face
And hugged me tight
And hugged me more tightly

Your hurting me, Mammy!
Sorry, she said!
And hugged me again
And again, it was a little bit sore
But not as bad as before

I like how Mammy is happy in Grannie’s House
I like Mammy’s hair in Grannie’s House
She’s got big soft curls in Grannie’s House
I like putting my hands on Mammy’s hair in Grannie’s House
Mammy’s hair
smells really nice in Grannie’s House

Mammy in Heydayaya

Mammy carries me down the stairs
Grannie’s House has two stairs in it
With a bathroom in-between
It’s a lot of stairs so I have to hold on tight
When we go down the stairs in Grannie’s House
We get to the hall in Grannie’s House
I like the white and black tiles
On the floor in Grannie’s House

I remembered them from yesterday
The Big Grandmother’s clock goes
Cling Cling
Cling Cling
I shout back to it,
Cling Cling!
Cling Cling!
To you,
Mrs Clock!

The Girls and Conor

The Murphy Children in 1971 – All of us were in Belfast on the night of Internment

I like the smells coming out of Grannie’s kitchen
It makes me hungry for my breakfast
Mammy carries me in and puts me at the table
On a big chair w
ith a big cushion on
I dangle my legs under it and kick the table
Mammy says, stop kicking! and Grannie has a giggle

Grannie gives me porridge with butter and milk and sugar as well
My feet are nice and warm in my new slippers 
In Grannie’s House
I sit at Grannie’s table with a nice yellow tablecloth
I watch Grannie going in and out of the pantry
She has a fridge in there too
That is where she gets the milk from
And the butter as well

The pantry smelts funny
It’s got lots of different kind of smells in it
I like going into the pantry and looking at all the jars on the big shelves
Grannie has a lot of packets on the shelves
And lots of bottles and boxes on the floor
And jars of sweeties as well
But I cannot even reach them
They’re put up too high
I can’t even do it on my tippy-toes

And anyway, I’m not allowed to go in the pantry
Well, not 
on my own
I saw Rice Krispies on one of the shelves
But I didn’t get any – even though I had asked
But Mary Margaret did get some
When she came down stairs
Mary Margaret is bigger than me
So, she’s allowed Rice Krispies
But not me

Rice Krispies


Grannie said,
“You’ve had your breakfast!”
I sigh, and I 
put my hands under my chin
And watch Mary Margaret
Eating Rice Krispies
Alone

Mary Margaret asked Grannie,
What was all that big noise
Last night
When I woke up
Scared
And
Crying

Grannie said,
The soldiers came and took the boys away.
And it was just the women rattlin’ the bin lids to warn them.
Do you want some bacon and sausages now?
Yes please! Said Mary Margaret
Staring at Grannie
Then she just kept on eating Rice Krispies
Until her sausages were ready

Internment

Because I amn’t getting any Rice Krispies
I go to find my brother, Patrick Leo
Coz he’s a boy – and we only just got him
So it would be a shame if the soldiers had taken him away
With all the other boys
Because I wanted to play with him
Even though he’s atill really small
But one day he’ll get bigger
And play football in the hall
And he’s the only boy we’ve got

I found him in the sitting room in his pram
I ran back into Grannie’s kitchen and told her
Patrick Leo is still here!
I found him!
He was in the sitting room
All along!
So, he’s not gone with the soldiers, Grannie
See for yourself!

Internment Young Boy

Grannie is laughing that Patrick Leo is still here
She is happy coz he has not gone off with the soldiers
Then I watch Grannie make sausages
And then she blows on one
So as it is not very hot
And gives it to me

I play on the black and white tiles
Inside Grannie’s House
In the Hall
The Big Grandmother Clock goes
Cling! Cling!
I say
Cling! Cling!
To You!
Mrs!

Mammy is watching me play
On the black and white tiles
She is laughing at me
And I do more Hopscotches
And some dancing
She has a cup of tea in her hand
But then she goes into the sitting room
And closes the door

Grannie's Diamond Floor

I am too small to open it
Coz the handle is too high
I try to jump up but I cannot reach it
I want to go into the sitting room
To see Mammy’s laughter
And to tell Grannie about the spider
I hit the door with my hand
Let me in!
Let me in!
With my chinny chin chin

And so Mammy eventually opens the door
And I run on in
The sitting room is really cozy
The fire is on
I saw Mrs Kettle in there
She is eating cake again
With her hat on
I hear a big bang

Internmant joe mc

I look up at Grannie
Grannie smiles down at me
And laughs
She gives me a big bit of cake
Straight into my hands
I’m supposed to use a plate
I spill crumbs on the carpet
I look at Mammy
But she doesn’t give me into trouble
I pick up the crumbs and put them in my mouth

Yellow-Cake-with-Chocolate-Buttercream-21-680x453

Mrs Kettle laughs
Grannie laughs
Mammy laughs
I hear another bang
I look up at Grannie
She smiles down at me
It’s fireworks, love
Just fireworks
I smile and laugh
I sit on the carpet
I eat my cake

Grannie’s house
Is the most f
un house
I’ve ever been in
For my whole life

Fireworks for the 70s

Cake!

Lemonade!

Fireworks!

Cling! Cling!

Mrs Clock!

The boys are away!
The boys are away!
The boys are away!
The boys are away

Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!
weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

internment 9 August 1971

Operation Demetrius: Part II – “The Bangor Boat’s Away”

The Bangor Boat’s Away

In Grannie’s House I run into the hall

The Big Grandmother Clock goes

Cling Cling

On the wall

I say, Cling Cling, back

To you too Mrs Clock

Then I go to explore

Granny's Clock

I like my green sandals

On Grannie’s hall floor

And the diamond shaped tiles

That run up to the door

 

I play ‘Hopscotch’ on them

They are all black and are white

I do skipping on them sometime

And can reach quite a height

Granny's Hall Tiles Diamonds

I like Grannie’s backyard

With her great big white sheets

Blowing up in the wind

So I play Hide and Seek

 

I like spinning round

Like a nice ballerina 

But I get all entangled

And become a hyena

 

There’s not any grass

In Grannie’s Backyard

I like skipping there

Coz the ground is quite hard

Not like in Glasgow –

When it gets very muddy 

My socks are all white now

It’s really quite funny

 

I find a secret passageway

In Grannie’s Backyard

It’s behind the bins

And I’m always on guard

Coz no-one else knows

It’s only just me

And I play here alone

And I like to be free

 

The passage is long 

With two great big walls


But not any doors

Or windows at all

 

Oh, dear, I see!

Yes, there’s windows as well

But I’m still very small

And can’t reach them at all

 

I walk a way down

And it feels a bit scary


I see tiny flowers

That are nice and are smelly

 

There is flowers of green

And some white ones as well

And there’s even yellow ones

That are shaped like a bell
Others are purple

And orange

And blue

And red ones

And pink ones

With thorns on them too

 

I see a wee spider

Come up from the ground

She looks very sad

I say, please do not frown

 

Guess what, little Spider

I have Lemonade!

It’s in Grannie’s Pantry

But we both need to wait

Coz it’s not quite yet ready

And not nearly made

 

I put my hand down

Full flat on the ground

And Wee Spider climbs up

And walks all around

 

But very soon later

It feels really tickley 

So I shake it right off

And it feels much less prickly

 

I say, Little spider

Be good

And be kind

Be nice

And be happy

And when it’s all made

We can go to the kitchen

And drink Lemonade

black-and-white-butterfly-on-a-daisy-pixie-copley

 

I see a nice butterfly

All white and all black

Like in Grannie’s nice hallway

Where I soon will go back

 

Oh! I just nearly catched it!

In the Big Tall Green Hedge

But it fluttered away

It flew right round the edge

 

So I walk to the end

To see who is there

And spied a big garage

And a head of red hair

Oh, It is my sister, Mary Margaret

Who was looking for me

She said, this is Grannie’s House

Can you not see?

 

Oh, I must have been sleeping

The first time I came

From off of the boat

But I now know the game

 

I like my green sandals

On Grannie’s red step

And the golden letterbox

Where last I had slept

 

I like the big knob

That looks like a fox

But it’s too high to reach

To give it a knock

 

So, I go up on my toes

And shout down the hall

Grannie! Grannie!”

I’m back

Did you know that at all?

“No milk today

Shouts Grannie

And laughs

“I’m not The Milk Man

Silly!

So don’t be so daft

 

Here comes Grannie

Walking Down her nice hall

And opens the door,

“Well! Well Well!

Where did ye get to at all?”

 

Well, I saw a butterfly

Just like your hall floor

And some lovely flowers

And quite a lot more!

 

But is’t now nearly bedtime

And I bounce on her knee

Up and Down; Up and Down

And I shout

Wee Wee Wee Weeeeeeeeeeee

 

She holds me so tightly

To make me so safe

And rocks me

Back and Forth;

And smiles in my face

 

She holds onto my wrists

Says, Now, here we go!

Go! Go! Go! Go!

And I do not resist:

The Bangor Boat’s Away!

It Has No Time To Stay!

Blow Your Horn!

For Indian Corn!

The Bangor Boat’s

Awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

 

Well, she nearly did drop me

On her lovely rug

But she catches me

Quickly

And we both have a hug

Again!

Again!

And holding on tightly

Again!

Again!

Again here we go…

The Bangor Boats away…

Bangor Boat

Operation Demetrius: Part I – “In Grannie’s Kitchen”

In Grannie’s Kitchen

(Belfast, 8 August 1971)

I like it here in Grannie’s Kitchen

Grannie’s made a cake

It’s really nice and squishy

Can’t wait to have a taste

Grannie's Kitchen for Blog

Unlike Grannie, I don’t like tea

I’ll have orange juice instead

And if there is no orange juice

I’ll have some Lemonade

 

I like being here in Grannie’s kitchen

It’s smells are very nice

It’s always nice and clean in here

It’s floors are smooth as ice

 

I can keep my socks on here

And skid and skate and skyte

I’d like to live in Grannies house

And if I’m good I might

 

I like it here at Grannie’s table

There’s always nice things on

Like Fairy cakes

And Apple Pies

And tatties

And some scones

Apple Pie in Grannie's Kitchen

And sometimes we get porridge too

But only in the morning

And other kind of other things

It’s never ever boring

 

We also play on Grannie’s table

Tiddlywinks

And snap


And Snakes and Ladders

And One Man Out

And The Minister’s Old Cat

 

Tiddly Winks

Grannie tells us stories

Of days that have gone by

Like about The Queen

Of Engaland (sic)

Who lately had just died

 

She ran off to the Proddy Church

To see the fine parade

She thought she’d see her coffin there

And thought she’d gone too late

Queen Elizabeth's Coffin

Silly her; of course that’s daft

The Queen’s not really here

But in her innocence, she said herself

She’d only just turned eight

 

Another story Grannie tells

Is the one about her brother

Working down The Belfast Docks

In the middle of the Summer

 

The boys worked hard

And played a lot

It really was such fun

Until his pal

A Proddy Man

Tipped him off about The Gun

Belfast Dockers on Boat

It was there he’d heard a rumour

In his old Big Blue Boys Club

That Peter Doyle

The Catholic Boy

That one from off The Falls

Was marked that day

They all did say

His number’s near damn up

 

He’ll have to go

And go today!

No time to tell his Mother

He must go now. On this fine day.

Or never see another

 

On The Boat to Liverpool

Then across the Atlantic Sea

Arriving to America

With no one else but He

On he went to lackys work

And soon eventually

He got a job

Down with the Mob

In the Auto Industry

General Motors 1918

She cried for him

Great Uncle Peter

Grannie’s only brother

Not knowing of his whereabouts

Was torturing his Mother

And finally, a letter!

A good waged job had he

Please tell my Ma’

I’ve kept The Faith

And now finally I’m free

 

Many long years passed

As Grannie reared her young

And one day in mid-winter

He asked her would she come

She got herself a ticket

And sailed the choppy seas

And finally arrived

In America!

And, for Liberty,

She cried

 

A month she spent there with him

Four weeks to reminisce

She met his wife

And daughter

And saw his happy bliss

 

But all too soon, she had to go

The old home horns were burning

And waving from the middle deck

Her stomach was a-churning

 

Her brother; and her only kin

Her blessed lovely soul

Good luck; Godspeed

And keep The Faith

But never come back home

Boat On A Postcard

Then Grannie wipes away tear

And turns to lemonade

She makes it all herself, you see

And all of it’s homemade

 

She squeezes in real lemons now

I watch, and stand up tall

She pours it through a strainer

And it trickles down the wall

 

She says we’ll have it later

As she opens up the pantry

I’ll put it in the fridge for now

And keep it where it’s handy

 

Now on you go, go out to play

Some skipping and tag-tig

And running in the garden

But watch out for the twigs

Homemade Lemonade

 

 

Going To Waste

Going To Waste
By Keara Murphy
Published
8 March 2019
International Women’s Day

My sleazy boss
Metaphorically
Tossing off
Under his desk
As he quizzes me
On the actions of
The Concierge
Harassing me
Silently
Sleekitly
Sexually

hutchiec_demolition1993

Now my body is in the frame
Policed by the Man
Who’d recently discovered
The term “Sexual Harassment”
At a conference
Involving wine
And networking
And flirting
Promoting himself
Returning to his desk
On Monday morning
With new vigour
To root this practice
Out!
Out. Out.
Out! Out! Out!
He might get a promotion

Twisting his moustache
Around in his fingers
Smirking
Tossing his ginger tresses
Head back
Nose up
Hands wringing
Slowly caressing
His own fingers
As I sat before him
Summoned!
To tell him the tale
The whole tail
And nothing but the tail
Of what the Concierge
Did or did not do to me
In the foyer
Of Queen Elizabeth Square

Out with it!
Out with it!

They must have done something
They must have done something
They. Must. Have. Done. Something!

My breasts
My stomach
My legs
my lips
My face
My Mound of Venus
Belongs to him
On this Monday morning
Across his leather
Polished desk
His eyes fixed on
My breasts
My breasts
Ah!
My breasts
Then penetrates my
Baby Blues
And suggests coffee
Buzzing his receptionist
To fetch it for us
Without breaking
Eye contact
It might loosen my tongue
My tongue
My tongue
Ah!
My tongue

My eyes fixed on his face
As he tosses his
Greasy tresses
Neck stretched
Shoulders back
Nose up
Runs his hand
Down his shirt
Half smiling;
Half smirking
Lingeringly
Leering
And quizzes me
On the “Sexual Harassment”
That I had not reported
Nor want to report
As it was mild
Barely something
Barely anything
Nothing to report

But my female middle-manager
Did have something to report
Her promotion
So she reported it
In writing
So now it is official
I am being Sexually Harassed
By The Concierge
She had been at the same conference
She also drank wine
And networked
And flirted
With her seniour bosses
Promoting herself
She might get a promotion
She must get that promotion
She’s getting that promotion!

The report:
Overheard by someone
Who overheard it
From someone else
Who told it
To Someone else
Who told it to her
And she reported it:
A comment
Addressed to me
From one of
My Men
About me
Leaving for the weekend
The Long Weekend
Me alone in my flat
Going to waste
Such a creature
Such a fine body
Those curves
Uncarressed
Unattended
Unused
Unseen
All alone
On the weekend
Such a waist
Such a thigh
Such a hip
Such lips
Oh! – Such a lalalabia
Going to waste

We must have it out!

She said.

I let it go
One single comment
Spoken in jest
I was undisturbed
I was used to it
Working alongside
16 male security guards
On 24 hour shifts
Over a five-day week
I laughed it off
What are they like!
Men!
A bit of banter.
I know my ‘boys’
No biggie
And they are my friends

His Lordship
In his office
Is now running his eyes
across my 23 year-old body
In fitted skirt;
knitted jumper
Corporation anorak
Hard hat and wellies
A walky-talky in one hand
A portfolio in the other
A pretty face
A strong body
Single white female
A predator’s dream
A Marvel
The power
She wants me
I know
She wants me

Tell me what happened!

Just doing my job
Just doing my job
Tending the 400 flats
On The Estate
No mean task
Ordering repairs
Removing graffiti
Inspecting common areas
Attending viewings
Upkeep
General maintenance
Attending meetings
With the Concierge
The Tenants Association
The Drug Squad
The Social Workers
Development
Taking minutes
Drinking tea
With my team
Mostly male
Nothing happened

He cannot let it go
He needs the facts
What happened that evening
In the foyer
Something must have happened
It’s not in the minutes
Why is it not in the minutes
The unwritten truth
What did they say
What did they do
To you
He needs something
He needs something
He needs something
To put in a report
To send to Head Office
To secure his rise
His Big Promotion

He needs something
Sex!
To gratify himself –
Sex!
Hungover
Sex!
On this
Dreary Monday Morning
Sex!
Let’s get to the bottom
Of it all
Sex!
Let’s get to the bottom
Of it all
Sex!
Let’s get to the bottom
Of it all
Sex!
Let’s get to the bottom of it
Sex!

I’m squirming
Denying
Brushing it off
He’s teasing me
Smirking
Smiling
Leering
I’m straight
Unmoving
Nothing happened

My boss disagrees
Let’s get it out
Let’s get it out
Let’s get it out
Get it out
Get it out
Get it out
NOW!
Come on
Give it to me
Come on
Give it to me
Come on
Give it to me
Come on
Give it to me

What did they do to you!
The Concierge
What did they do to you
On the back stairs
What did they do to you
In the lift
What did they do to you
In The Fire Resistant Shaft
With the Dry Riser
What did they do to you in
The Pump Store
What did they do to you
In The Refuse Block
With the Sprinkler
What did they do to you
In the courtyard
Under the arches
What did they do to you
In the basement
What did they do to you
In The Engine Room
What did they do to you
In the Tea Room
Involving biscuits

They must have done something
They must have done Something
They must have done something

As he looks lustfully
Up and down
My fully clothed
23 year-old
Body
He sees an entry point
In the gap where my anorak
Zip
Is unzipped
My belly
My breasts
My waist
My hips
My arms
At arms length
His hands
Under my jumper

What did they do to you
They must have done something
He can only imagine
Taking off my anorak
He can only imagine
Removing my jumper
He can only imagine
Fondling my breasts
He can only imagine
Slipping off my tights
He can only imagine
Running his hands down my legs
He can only imagine
His hand on my skin
He can only imagine
Kissing my neck
He can only imagine
His lips on mine
He can only imagine
Caressing my arse
He can only imagine
Pressing himself against me
He can only imagine
He and I and the Dry Riser
In The Boiler Room
At midnight
Alone – with noone to hear
My Screams
He can only imagine
I would be submissive
He can only imagine
Me stealing away
Like a wolf in the night
Silent
Invisible

He can only imagine
He can only imagine
He can only imagine

He demanded the CCTV
To be brought to him
To examine it
To have access
All areas
To watch over
Me
To watch over
Me
And over
Me
And over
Me
And over
Me
AGAIN
And oh! Oh! OH!
Oh-oh-oh-ver!
AGAIN

But he could only imagine

He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine
He could only imagine

By Keara Murphy
Published
8 March 2019

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