Maureen Boyle

Incunabula I

im Pat Boyle March 14th 1930 – May 9th 2008


If I had dared to imagine

trading, I might have wished to trade

places with anyone raised on love,

but how would anyone raised on love

bear this death.


Sharon Olds




In my childhood home there was a room of books left over

from my father’s days in Belfast, they were toys to us.

In hard linen jackets of primary reds and greens, they were building blocks

in the spare room, the one not needed yet for children, its bare shell walls

smelling thrillingly of plaster and of possibility. Not a library but piled

haphazardly on the floor they were a magic mountain in our eyes.

It was my favourite place to play, to go in there at night and ‘write’-

to scribble in their margins.   It was if he no longer had need of them.

 Those that made it onto shelves in later years were paperbacks and full

 of optimism – Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People,

Teach Yourself to Swim, Teach Your Child to ReadHow to Lay a Lawn,

and then a big regal- looking book, propped  up and hidden in a velvet-lined

 box that I was not supposed to find and that  would eventually be lost

with all the others, on how make –   the perfect Catholic marriage.