Sheena Bradley: “Child Migrant”



Child Migrant

I don’t remember leaving Ireland,
only arriving, as if just born, off the boat.
Jelly legs find earth unsteady
after weeks aboard the Empress of France.
Parents speak rapidly
with smiling voices,
emigrants to a New World

Quebec is light, colour, noise
and swooshing cars with glossy names,
Chevrolet, Chrysler, Oldsmobile.
My new half-brother
speeds us in his Pontiac
through pine forest tang,
green trees go on forever.
Already wide, the Petawawa River
opens to the Ottawa, songs
lilting in their names.

This white house is just for us, we four –
and that scary Jesus picture,
shipped all the way from home, flashing
his fiery heart and follow-you eyes.

Big brother, home from school, teaches me,
Van Der Berg, Kinosha, Hoffmann,
Schultz, twisting my tongue, compared
to Kelly, Mc Guigan, Hegarty and O’Brien.

Featureless fading snowmen last
for months, then summer’s melting heat,
sticky hands, damp clingy sheets.
On our way to picnic by a lake,
the car skids on a million mashed caterpillars.
I swim on Uncle’s back, squealing,
squealing, listening for echoes.

Barbecue smoke clings to hair
and clothes as we ride home singing
O Canada, our home and native land.



About the Author: Sheena is Irish but has lived in Nottingham for almost forty years. Following retirement, she began writing and now has an MA in Creative Writing from Trent University. She has been published in The Beacon, Reach, Sarasvati, Dawntreader and Orbis. Twitter: @weesheenanigan


More by Sheena Bradley:

After Another Deluge


Image Credit: “On the St. Lawrence River at Riviere du Loup” (1900) Public Domain: The Library of Congress

Ryan Quinn Flanagan: Movies with “Momo”



Movies with “Momo”

Sam Giancana
would start the projector
and watch the same movie
with his wife every night.

Always in my Heart,
starring Kay Francis
and Walter Huston.

In that very same Chicago basement
he would later be killed in
cooking sausage and peppers
for those he thought were his friends.

But decades earlier,
the basement was where he and his wife
would watch Always in my Heart.

And after his wife died,
“Momo” still retired down to the basement
each night.

That empty chair beside him,
Sam would start up the projector
and sit and watch in silence.


About the Author: Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, As It Ought To Be Magazine The New York Quarterly, Cultural Weekly, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.


More by Ryan Quinn Flanagan:

Artisanal Birds

Before Evening Med Pass

He Brought His Canvases Over


Image Credit: Still from “Always in My Heart”