She stumbled out of the Parrot

Holding the window for stability

The red ruched too tight shift

Barely covering her awkward frame


How different from a few years before

When she ruled the Parrot and the men

Taking them one by one to the canal bank walk

Tossing her ponytail with glee


Of course she took the uppers

Snorted white lines with lies

Pierre took care of her every need

She was loved and basked in the glow.


A year or two before this Angelina

Fresh faced and fuchsia pinked

Took a job as a trainee technician

In a Phibsboro’ beauty salon


The women there got huge tips

But Angel was just a trainee

So they looked after her and taught

Her everything they knew.


How easy to give the extras

How easy to start the slide

From fresh to ripe to rotten

Rotten to the core, through and through


As Angel stumbled last night

Near the canal, Bert watched

He saw her walk unsteadily

Where horses once had plod


Her body was found a few days later

The men from the Red Parrot bar

Described each scar, and the landlord, Bob

Identified Angel and held a wake in the pub.


A few weeks later Cherylann arrives

To be a beauty trainee in Phibsborough

Her hair is short and punked

Her fuchsia pink bag sways with her at-it-tude.



girl –

Look at your face

can you see it?

death as the mask

Pale, lifeless, gaunt

Tired, hurt, bruised

what point is pain?

girl –

those drugs you take

don’t make you good

scratched bleeding arms

take over body

invade the brain.

When did you feel?

girl –

you are a waste

messed up big time

home is cardboard

in shop doorways

dirty blankets

will you take help?