Following The Liverpool Road

W.B. Yeats extolled the Irish peasant.
Sadly poems do not give us our daily bread.
So, many Irish men left for Liverpool in the 1950s when
work was slack,
following the dream of gold paved roads,
leaving behind their loved ones,
the smell of open fields,
the storytelling round the hearth,
the beauty of the Connemara sunset,
setting out to build the cities of England.

Many succeeded in building up their lives,
reuniting with their families.
Some brought their loved ones over,
while others saved enough money to return home.
Many sent their wages home every Friday
keeping enough for pints of bitter,
searching for their spirits in the bottom of a glass.

Some lived secret lives,
creating a second family in England to ease the emptiness,
the heartache of their betrayal destroying them all.
Often the wives met for the first time around their husband's grave, squabbling like Solomon's women demanding their inheritance.

By Maire Malone