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The Purple Shamrock, Boston

The manager, a Galway curlew,
tells me to swot up
on the menu
and make sure to let

the customers know
it's me first day.
I get away
with that line for weeks.

The most important thingó
feed them drink.
No one walks into an Irish pub
for the potato skins.

The cook is first generation
and roars at her off the boat
if I don't leg it
when his call bell ding-dings.

I glean scraps of Spanish
and get in with the Columbian
dishwashers. They got all sorts
of fingersmithin' moves.

If the INS man
walks in,
just walk out.
Do not run.

At the end of the shift
me feet are in bits.
The barman, from Cabra, hands me
a Cape Codderócost price.

Rachael Hegarty

Flight Paths Over Finglas
Salmon Poetry / Dufour Editions

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