she rode the Greyhound

from L.A.

to Montana

every year

holding her rosary

her water

the bus tires to the road

and watched

the moon glow

out her window

the same moon

she’d wished on

in Connemara

before she followed

her husband

from Galway to Butte

and raised her children

in Beaverhead County

where she scrubbed

floors and folded

other people’s clothes

to buy eggs and potatoes

she fed her kids

the church

her boys abandoned

for the bottle

their father embraced

to escape his Hell

of digging ditches

celebrate a wee bit

of Heaven early

just in case

the meek didn’t

make out so good

so she lost them

the way

all mothers lose

though she didn’t

give up

she never let go

always made the trip

prayed for our

everlasting souls

in her thick Irish brogue

that still echoes

inside of me


mark gibbons

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