There were spares, so the teacher let me bring some home.
In the plastic bag, sticking to my schoolthings
They clunked and rustled
A fruit prize.
I rolled up my uniform sleeves once home
Plonked them on the countertop
And selected the knife
As the apple pie caramelised in the oven, my mother upstairs,
I set to work on the hearts.
Blood dribbled from their bodies, just a bit
Hopefully wouldn’t stain but
That’s why I used the meat board
Like mam showed me
I sawed gently at their toughened faces
Up each side
Opening a parceled envelope like with a birthday card and money
And a note from your nan you can’t read
But has lots of kisses
Just like that
But it smelled awful
Like fully awful
You’d know they were already dead
The poor sheep arranged in some butcher’s window
Or melting in the mouth of a Sunday.
I was holding it in my hand
Thumbs brushing up the sides
All frayed and full of bits falling off
When she came downstairs
And screamed what is that what are you doing I said
I got them free
I got them spare
Hearts for dinner mam
I can show you all the pieces
What they’re called in Latin.
Seirce Mhac Conghail is an undergraduate student of English and Irish in Trinity College Dublin. Their work can be found hiding away in old notebooks, crouching in margins, and lurking in Google Docs. This is one of their first pieces to escape.