PoetryIssue 17 | March 2013

Two poems by Jim Burke

I didn't get where I am

(for M. Riordan.)
               
I didn’t get where I am by complaining about bumpy
soccer pitches
or the shortcomings of amateur referees.
Or by blaming the inclemencies of the weather.
Or by voting for Labour.
Or by saying he’s a nicer fellow than most, always good to see him.
Nor did I get where I am with the girl in a miniskirt
reading the Bible outside my window.
I didn’t get where I am with all the love I had which was not enough.
Nor did I get where I am by sinking the winning putt in the U.S. Open.
Or by using the comb-over.
Or because I picked six random numbers one Saturday night.
Or by talking to Van Morrison.
Nor did I get where I am whispering to the Virgin Mary.
Or because I went out into the hazel wood.
Or because I ate strawberries with cream watching Wimbledon.
Or because it was difficult to use the lavatory bowl in Harvard.
And I didn’t get where I am because your grandfather showed me where to go.
Nor did I get where I am on the wrong side of fifty,
by taking up jogging and joining the Jane Austen Book Club
or by learning to kiss like Clark Gable.
No, that’s not how I got where I am, my father said
licking his lips on mum’s Sunday’s apple crumble.

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About the author

A native to Limerick, Ireland, Jim Burke embarked on an online Creative Writing MA Course at MMU three years ago and hasn’t stopped writing since. He has published poems in Crannóg, Revival Poetry Journal, Shamrock Haiku Journal, and the Stony Thursday Book.

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