You've read the news stories about the separation of immigrant families in the United States. You will be aware of the message Melania Trump carried on her coat. Poets have responded, from both sides of the Atlantic. Read what they have to say, this weekend, at Poetry24.

Saturday, 16 March 2013


Abrakedabra !
and a plume
of white smoke,
Habemus Papam.
We have a Pope!

Through crimson
curtains he emerges.
Cassock and cape
like fresh snow.

The conclave
gushes behind.
All blood red
and sanguine.
They are umbilical

Connecting me to my grandmother –
who polished her front step
with a tin of Cardinal Red
reciting her forty-day-prayer,
in rhythm with the bristles of her brush -
her incantation
a crucifix of indentation -
up and down,
side to side,
going nowhere.
The end result gleamed but was slippery
like dripping.

Do you know the pope
wears red shoes ?
I do – for the blood of the martyrs
or maybe as a mark
of the elite.
Do you know he wears
a fisherman’s ring?
I do – for St. Peter who cast
his net into the sea,
or maybe to dress his hand
with gold and diamonds.
Do you know he gives out a Plenary
Indulgence on special occasions?
I do.

And then to my surprise the pope raised his hand
And drew the world to his palm
And I remained there.

Clodagh Beresford Dunne lives in Waterford. She writes poetry, plays and short fiction. She is the recipient of a number of awards and her poems have appeared in The Stinging Fly, The Moth and Southword - she is presently compiling her first collection of poetry. 


  1. This really helped me see through other eyes. I don't get it, but I get this.

    1. Many thanks for your kind words.

  2. Best poem ever , looking forward your next poems :)

    1. Very flattering ! - thank you so much.

  3. Very nice variation in verse
    Well done Clodagh
    I'd say like Isbassen I won't be
    joining you in his palm any time soon
    (I might reconsider if they shared their great wealth with the poor)
    But I admire the way you put this together NL

  4. Wow such passion. really inspirational. Have you any other pieces, I would love to read them

    1. Many thanks. There is another of my poems currently online - you can look at the Southword Journal and in some back issues of The Stinging Fly and the Moth. I'm currently working on a first collection so am really pleased you like this for a start. C