Lorraine Carey

Mrs. Mac

always seemed pregnant
in flouncy, flowery smocks.
I resented her sporadic
stints as my teacher,
with substitutes coming
and going, wanted permanence
and return of routine.

I always gleaned facts from Home Economics,
the smells and warmth of the ovens,
the hunt for bobbins and matching thread.
My cherry red, gingham apron
had a pocket for my cigarette butts,
never saw the light of day,
once first year came to a close.

I’m reminded of Mrs. Mac
in Camay soap and digestive biscuits.
I can see her gliding corridors
with one of her many bumps,
her farmer’s hands gesticulating,
tidy up girls as you go along,
like a song, in my economy of memories.


Lorraine Carey’s an Irish poet and artist from Donegal. She’s widely published in journals and anthologies including Poetry Ireland Review, Orbis, The Honest Ulsterman, Skylight 47 and on Poethead.A Pushcart Prize nominee, her art has featured in many journals. Her debut collection is From Doll House Windows (Revival Press)