Danny Boy

by amy sharp



We were in the North of England with a friend and we had a proper holiday party at his mother's home with king prawn and big beers and Irish whiskey in tiny cups. And we wore the colored thin paper Christmas hats and let the back door swing open to hang our heads out and smoke cigarettes that came in packs of ten. And the cold air licked our smooth faces and we shivered towards midnight.

Music was all over the house but eventually we all stood in the small kitchen together singing songs we all knew. The floor was tiled and my heels made loud clicks like clocks on mantles when I sang Oasis to the man that I had just given my heart.

And then the mother of the house pressed her fancy dress 
pushing on her ample bosom and smoothing all the way down to her knees
before she opened her mouth
and sang out "Danny Boy" and silenced us all
and her lipstick was smudged and her curls wet against her face
and she was beautiful and soft and real

she sang it with the confidence that clearly comes from the years of a mother
she was in her home and her dress was smooth
and her guests were drunk and full and happy
and she sang it out like an angel and I can remember feeling so very
in the moment

her son
our friend
he looked at her the whole time
he could not take his eyes from her
and I clocked it then
in my memory bank


She's on the back of my neck today.
Shiver hairs when I heard the song out on the radio.

If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me


And there just are not enough moments in life where we are so fully in the moment.

So fully into the air of someone else
that we can hardly breath