Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Gwyneth Lewis ‘Spiderings’ Ian Thomson ‘Fires were started: Tallinn, 1944’ Adrian May ‘Traditionalism and Tradition’ Judith Herzberg ‘Poems’ translated by Margitt Helbert Horatio Morpurgo ‘What is a Book?’
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Reader Survey
PN Review Substack

This poem is taken from PN Review 189, Volume 36 Number 1, September - October 2009.

Four Poems Sinéad Morrissey

Fairground Music

The fair had come. It must have been Whitsun.
They’d camp every year at the end of our yard -
you could hear the screams and the grinding of the rides
and a noise like whizz-bangs from the house.
Tom had taken Hazel off to get lost in it
so I had the kitchen to myself. Which was larger,
somehow, and scented, and lonely. I was baking scones.

It was Esther gave me the shock - hello Doris -
standing in the door-frame like a ghost.
She’s been riding all afternoon: the dipper,
the dodgems, the giant wheel. You could tell
she was five months gone just by looking at her.
She needed the privy - it would save me the walk -
and I said alright because she was family.

She was out there an age. I had the scones in the oven
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image