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By Terry McDonagh

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And a sister in full flight. A little bird on the Liffey wall held its ground. 46 A Hymn At Christmas The man on TV is a politician. He says so himself. Just in from Europe and tail-wagging sweet messages at Christmas. He just loves to be home among real people. A simple man, he tells us; no passion, but a wife is a wife for all that. He’s got golf down to a tee. She holds a mirror to nature and crucifies the turkey: it’s juices run riot, like unclean things. He’s got twenty-two or twenty-three grown virgin daughters for Christmas dinner.

Women and children on foot were to remain soundless in place, walking to one side with tattered baskets. On his death bed, black sloe seeds could fall from his heart into the lap of his faithful mistress. He would not have seen the colour of wet leaves, nor smelled the dank air and other demons in a foreign place. 34 Interflora When Ute went to England on a darning course, she met lots of sheep farmers at village fairs. Her partner, Werner, couldn’t come because of an important demo and anyway, her child – from her time with Lutz – was at the Steiner Schule.

The butcher’s wife exchanged a thousand thanks at the till, while the boy warmed to voices in his head. He was learning songs of praise for the other side. His father sang from his pew. 59 The Blind Girl The door opened and the tip-tap of the blind girl worked its way through an obstacle course of bar stools to sit beside me. She exchanged words with her stick, mentioned work in passing, but her eyes lit up when she talked of the wonderful scenery in parts of England. 60 A Sense Of Something Lost For Joanna The tongue was a late developer.

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