A Saturday Woman Poet, Kate Dempsey

It’s What You Put Into It

For Grace
On the last day of term
you brought home a present,
placed it under the tree,
a light, chest-shaped mystery
wrapped in potato stamped paper
intricate with angels and stars.
Christmas morning
you watched as we opened it,
cautious not to tear the covering.
Inside, a margarine tub, empty.
Do you like it? eyes huge.
It’s beautiful.
What is it, sweetheart?
A box full of love, you said.
You should know, O my darling girl,
it’s on the dresser still
and from time to time, we open it.


Kate DempseyHennessy shortlistFebruary 2006Pic: Mark CondrenKate Dempsey’s poetry is widely published in Ireland and the UK including Poetry Ireland Review,The Shop, Orbis and Magma. She won The Plough Prize and has been shortlisted for the Hennessy Award for both poetry and fiction. She was selected to read for Poetry Ireland Introductions and Windows Publications Introductions, as well as at various arts and music festivals with the Poetry Divas. She is grateful for bursaries received from the Arts Council, Dublin South County Council and Kildare County Council. Kate blogs at Writing.ie and Emerging Writer. You can catch her on Twitter at PoetryDivas. 

Reviewed here, The Moth Collection, Little Editions



” i.m Barbara Ennis Price
It’s all the fault of the British, she said.
The cursing came in with the troopers,
the other ranks and their wives as bad.
Before that, we Irish never swore.
No curse would pass our tender lips,
no drop of whiskey,
no beatings, no casual cruelty.
Sure, weren’t we a gentle race
until the squaddies boated in?
We were milk and honey,
the soft heads of babes, the pigs at Christmas,
root vegetables and stone walls.
What did we have to swear about
until the British came?”
© Kate Dempsey

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