ODE TO SEAMUS HEANEY: Ireland’s Greatest Poet

This poem is in honor of the life and death of one of Ireland’s greatest poets, Seamus Heaney. Heaney was a Nobel Prize winner familied with the brilliance of William Butler Yeats and Samuel Beckett. He wrote about the bedfellows of political ambiguity and social injustice. He was a poetic master at reflecting the foibles of deception and contradiction. In response to and honor of one of his popular poems called CASUALTY in which an innocent man is caught in the crossfire of political strife I humbly eulogize the Commandeur de l’ordie des Arts et Lettres with my first journal entry after the September 11 bombing of America called “Little Liza”. It is from my next book named SHOUT, MAMMY, SHOUT!!! (Trubu Press).

LITTLE LIZA

(A GHETTTO TALE for all the children who lost loved ones on Sept. 11. Little Liza’s mother never returned home after going to work on that horrific day)
Come here little Liza
Remember how you always wanted to come over to Miz. Pace house?
Well today is your day.
“Did mommy finally say yes?”
Well, yes she did.
“Oh Mix Pace, can I stay the night?”
Well would you like to spend two nights?
“Oh could I, could I? Will Mamma let me?”
Well…yes…she will.
“Oh gee, oh gee. Let’s go, let’s go.”
Well, yes, let’s go.
“Maybe we could play a joke on mommy and I could stay with you a long time, without telling momma.”
Why would you want to do that?
“Well Momma works so hard all day, and when she comes home at night she is so very tired. She doesn’t have time for me, so usually I fall asleep in the car on the way home after I eat what momma brought me from her job at the twin tower restaurant. You are a lot of fun, you are not like all of my other babysitters, would you like to keeeeep me? I could be yours.”
Well, maybe for a little while. We’ll have to pray about that.
“I don’t think mommy would mind she needs a break. And we’ll have lots of fun. Maybe if I stay with you, tomorrow night, mommy can go back to the restaurant as a customer instead of as a waitress, she is always saying that one day she is going to go do that, put on her best dress and walk into the world trade center, go right up to that fine restaurant where she works and sit down and let someone wait on her for a change.”
Liza???…
“Yes Mix Pace???…Are you crying?”
…get your backpack
“You are crying, well that’s good, that will give me something special to do tonight, I’m good at making my mamma feel good, and making her laugh and making her forget? Have you got something you want to forget? I’m good at doing that.
Little Liza…well, maybe you should stay with me until I can forget.”


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