TOO LONG A SACRIFICE
My mother hated "rocks" and classical music.
"Rocks", she called big words: had she a name
For music? That I cannot now reclaim;
But I picture her angry grimace-quick
Moves to kill an offending radio,
As close to spitting as an angry cat
Made edgy, challenged in her lair by "Dat
Aul nize!", as if pursued by an ancient foe:
She, who loved the Irish music; told
To us her own-made tales of magic geese,
Faries, giants, ghosts, and fantasies
Of Devils called to dance who kicked up gold:
A lev'lling Bakun-manque** mind, my mother's :
Too long a skivvy for shoneening* Others.
*Aping "your betters". Shoneen means "little John", signifying
"little John Bull": someone aping English and Anglo-Irish genteel
upper class ways — for example: calling a bonham a "piglet";
a dire insult!
**Michael Bakunin, one of the founders of abarchism.