It is very hot for Ireland this week. Which accounts for my later posting of the weekly poem . While our temperatures are in the 25-27C range, (which sounds laughably cool to many people) with the humidity in the 80 percentile it is not comfortable for folks used to summers where a few days at 21C is a cause for rejoicing and the populus turning lobster pink as we boil in the unusually relentless sunshine.
Consequently, I am rising early and doing activities that are…well, active before noontime. Air conditioning is unheard of in Ireland except in public buildings. The supermarket was cool, but my ice cream cone (that I ate outside where I could take off my mask) was a bit melty by the time I finished it. The lane’s tarmac weeps once we go over 25C. So I am walking our little dog between 7am and 8am each morning to preserve his wee paw pads. Even by 8am the exertion makes me sweat. There is a race to water, weed and harvest in the garden before I swoon from the sun. Also, to do any cooking since putting on the oven or using the gas stove only adds to the heat. So, I only settled down (wearing my bou-bou from Mogodishu, a gift from a South African friend) to write the weekly poem well after lunchtime. It is, in part, inspired by a stray fact gleaned from the Long Read in today’s Guardian by Zarlasht Halaimzai. I commend it to you.
In the Grip of a Death Cult, we bomb the Kabul maternity home making it a grave for so many newborns; exhume the septic system of Tuam’s Mother & Baby Home. Count out the tiny remains- the hundreds and hundreds not unlike those found out the back of the Kamloops Institute (except they were not white) buried toe to toe. Who knows who actually loves children? We would like to think the future. Certainly not the past. Or even the now. We prefer to love them in utero where so many hearts bleed over embryonic potential, adoringly viewing the ET finger waving home from behind the scan’s screen. Who knows why we treat them so differently once they cross the line into actuality, handing them a fate where they starve, are bombed out, hounded, tortured, caged for the audacity of birth that so many swear is their greater good. Over and over we lay this Isaac on that altar to a god hungry for blood, one who does not stay Abraham’s hand. Nor do we question said authority demanding that the little children shall suffer even as we sentimentally mourn the many lost in their potentiality. Even in the face of their brutal actual brief lives – short of breath, snuggle, succour and love. Copyright © Bee Smith 2021. All rights reserved.