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Monday, 31 March 2014


I've been told that I was stung in the face by a wasp
When I was a baby in my mother's arms.
She was on her way to the shop across the road
When the swift assassin struck me unawares.
I've been told that I screamed and my mother was frantic,
That I developed a slight swelling in the cheek
That Germolene or some such magic calmed eventually.

But I've had my revenge on hundreds of the little bastards over the years,
The stings of the father, you might say, swatted and squashed
By tennis racquets, rolled-up magazines, Irish News copies
And whatever else came to hand in duels to their deaths.

I have been stung many times since the first incident,
stings not so easily dealt with by racquets and magazines,
stings that didn't even involve the angry evil of wasps,
stings from shallow acquaintances and false friends,
stings that leave me with thoughts of vengeance, of loose ends.

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