:: Article

Three Poems

By Seamus Scanlon.

12.01 AM

You have the right to die
You have the right to indignity
You have the right to a stainless steel gurney
You have the right to have a vein cut back
You have the right to an anal plug
You have the right to a catheter
You have the right to a lethal injection
You have the right to an inferior attorney
You have the right to fight your case ineffectually
You have the right to be flung into eternity
And that’s where you’re going
‘Cause it’s 12.01 AM and it’s time to move on.


Boys Like Me

Boys had drowned in that river I knew
Boys with short pants and brown spindly legs
Boys who were brave and boys who were afraid
Boys who flew off the bridge in elegant arcs
Boys who went quietly underneath the surface
Boys who slipped and boys who were pushed
Boys who crushed their skulls against the jagged rocks while swimming
Boys who sacrificed themselves
Boys who wasted themselves
Boys like me.


Winnie Battle

Winnie Battle died today
Pulling a black bullock
From a sink hole in the river field
Where rushes bent over
Away from the heavy rains
Rushing in from the Atlantic

Rooks blacked the gable end of her house
Folded in on themselves against the heft of the wind
The wind-break trees shaking
Winnie Battle’s dog barked as she fell back
Onto the wet loamy soil

My mother said poor Winnie Battle – she had no life

She had shiny black rooks guarding her house
She had high swaying elms trees lining her drive
She had wet rushes that brushed against her legs
When she walked the river field

She watched me when I walked the road
To pull ice chilled water from her well

She spat on the calluses made by the metal handles.
You have townie hands she said.


Seamus Scanlon is a writer from Galway, Ireland. He was a 2009 New Irish Writing nominee and he won the 2010 Over The Edge New Writer Award in September. He received an MFA in Creative Writing at the City College of New York in 2007 where he won awards for fiction and drama including for the play Dancing at Lunacy.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, November 18th, 2010.