Your name means ‘dream’ in our mother tongue;
Of course we poets gift our daughters with such.
Of course we would bestow them
with something they cannot touch.
We start dreams in A5 copybooks,
Then carry them up our civic steps,
Say yes to equality, yes to opportunity,
yes to women’s autonomy,
Why is this dream
Still so intangible,
For the other 49%?
Dreams should run wild along the riverbanks of Offaly
And through forest trails thick with myth and history –
Dreams should catch a breeze on an open country road:
A sunset to the west, a moon leaning towards the morning –
The air distilled and sweet and tight to our skin,
because dreams should be the things we are allowed to live in
But, how can we be expected to breathe
When we are not allowed to even be?
Earphones in. Sound off.
Keys out. Baggy tops.
Dark clothes. Public places.
Well-lit roads. Safe spaces.
“You home yet hun? X”
“Just in the door – there was this one guy, called me a whore –
But I’m fine – Just unlucky timing.”
Should’ve worn jog pants,
Do a double-take on the locks on the door.
Lie down to try sleep,
count all the sheep you passed on the road
Who thought “better to leave that be, I’m sure she’s nearly home”.
How many excuses will we buy to soothe our discomfort
That we reduce women to statistics,
Nameless odd and even numbers?
And how many dreams will we let die
Before this insomniac society zones in
And wakes up, and maybe starts to give a fuck?
And oh, dear dream, dear vision,
With thousands of miles left to run,
Will I meet you on the open road in passing
At the fall of dusk? At the light of dawn?
In the name of an Éire for all mná,
that one we’ve never quite lived up to,
Let us seize the day and run in the night,
I am tired of being afraid of life
because society says I have to.