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!


Get in the car!

Keara Patricia!

Get in the car!


Get in the car!

Mammy carried

Patrick Leo

On her lap

Leo! Get in the car!


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


And she is


And she is


And she is


And she is


And she is


And we are all still


















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