Jenny Byrne

Jenny lives in County Dublin and is originally from the seaside town of Bray. Being near the sea always feels like home. Her husband is Galwegian, and they love to spend time there as often as they can. Always curious and drawn to learning, she has a varied career from media to Montessori teaching and is currently working towards her professional HR qualification. She often says she will stop studying, but never gets around to that. Her biggest achievement to date is being a mother to two lovely people. New to the writing scene and enjoying the practice of it and the community very much, Jenny engages with writing as her creative way to process aspects of life around her and her experience. Her poems have been published in the Galway Review and Impspired.

Love (Classified)

I don't write about love
it's ours, it's private. 

Where we are 
queen and king
passions force
bloody battles
some won
many lost

We grieve
poultice womb
wounds
with salt
purging 
the demented

Orchid roots 
reach toward
light and air
epiphytes survive
supported 
freely

I don't write about love, 
it's ours, it's private. 

Dispossession

November 1992, an envelope
landed on the parquet floor
the girl eyed it, alert, watchful,
a parent, up to that moment
eternally absent, comatose, awoke
instinct sensing threat, battled 
its way through stupor, 
“strip it, strip everything!” 

When she said strip it, she meant it,
fingerplates and handles of fine porcelain,
ceiling roses, mahogany fireplaces
with hand painted tile,
Westminster carpets in monarch red
ripped like weeds

All items remaining shall be seized,
the letter stomped out in Courier slab serif,
Signed Bailiff  
without courtesy of identity, 
the executioner spared from 
disgraced and desperate eyes 

The kitchen sink managed to resist
as the ruby heat of shame 
descended on a mother and children 
evicted, black bags at their heels,
locals gorged, scavenging amongst scraps
of dignity as frantic children
did their best to adult while
packing Raggedy Ann and Miss Mouse 

Sweet pup, nurtured like a baby 
from 12 weeks, white whiskered now
had to go, no dogs allowed
in a place not their own,
the trinity embarked on the first
of many journeys to salvation, 
heads bowed, tails limp

The letter now sits in a drawer 
in a warm home that hosts a fridge, 
eternally pregnant with its bounty, 
where happy children dance and dream
watched over by Raggedy Ann
who peeps out from a box of memories.

Silhouette

Playing with shadows
on the bedroom wall
those nights you tucked me up
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John 
would terrify me before 
we'd dive into the classic tales
Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel, Cinderella.
You tried to skip ahead and I let you
only to remind you at the end we 
missed the part with the blue dress
and you’d have to go back.
It was late, I never thought you
wanted to be anywhere else;
and your shadow tricks!
Bunnies, butterflies and swallows
before you wrapped me in Victoria Plum. 
You, with a full cup of patience
only out the door to be summoned back
by the princess with the golden ball,
who'd promise anything
for one last kiss. 

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