The eight o’clock from Connolly

He was a brimey curmudgeon
While she shouldered all of his shame
Well into winter on Thursday
On the eight o’clock Sligo bound train

Laden with trinkets and clobber
Auld tat that nobody needs
Sold as a pup for a bargain
And bought like the custom house deeds

With bags strewn over the carriage
She squeezed in tight to the wall
Yammering on about something or other
And him not listening at all

His mind had got home before them
Now he was thinking of cows
Dunging out byres in the morning
And fixing up pins for the sows

As the horse galloped into the midlands
With solemnity once more restored
She thought about lost connections
And sat there being ignored




The 8’th of December is traditionally the day when the country folk make the trip ‘up’ to Dublin for the bit of Christmas shopping. It may well be on the wane somewhat these days with every town having some form of shopping center and the uptake in internet shopping. But i bet you this coming December the 8th, the trains out of Dublin will be packed full of bags of cloths and gifts among other things. 

Sitting with these clothes and gifts will be rural folk themselves, at varying degrees of contentedness following the troop around the shops. 

It may be a stereotype and to those offended i do apologies, but I’ve seen the couple in this poem on a number of occasions. Sometimes multiple occasions on the same day. Him under the notion that he’s fulfilling his duty and her the same. 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday and sales on every second day of the week will eventually kill the tradition. And who’s to say that either of these is any better or any worse. Not me anyway.

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