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16 October 2014
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Colette O'Hare
Colette O'Hare

Colette O'Hare is originally from the Oldpark, and has recently returned home to live in Belfast after more than 40 years in London. She has had a variety of careers - including teaching in adult education - and working as a feature writer on a number of women's magazines - the names of which she claims to have forgotten.

The Pram by Colette O'Hare


The pram was new
The baby was too

Her name was Mary Agnes

Then came Patricia
And Frances
And Ann Marie,
Lily
Catherine
Roisin
Cara and Erin,
The Irish twins.

Then
When
It seemed
The pram had been
And seen
Just about all there was

Your man arrives.
Liam.

One by one
They took their turn
To push the pram
Up and down
To the Brickfields

Filled to the brim
With who could fit in
And lemonade and buns

And the others they trailed behind

All in a daisy chain line
Followed by the dog

Mary Agnes pushed Patricia
Patricia pushed Frances
Frances pushed Anne Marie
Anne Marie pushed Lily
Lily pushed Catherine
Catherine pushed Roisin
Roisin pushed Cara and Erin
The Irish twins
Followed by the dog

And they all had to push your man.

And when they were burned out
And had to move to another house
In a hurry
They loaded up the pram
In the dark
It was cold
And they were sleepy
And their Da pushed it
First and last time
Only men over the water pushed prams

He walked so fast

When the pram was done
They still had fun

Cos the dog he liked to sleep there
So they'd doll him up in a bonnet and shawl
And even bootees maybe
And wet themselves laughing
When somebody stopped
To have a look at the new baby

Once a week
They'd disturb his sleep
To collect the spuds in the pram
Take the sheets to the bagwash
Or jam jars, empty bottles of pop
Back to the shop

But the day came
The pram was left out in the rain
Once too often
It really did smell chronic

They wheeled it slowly
To the Tip Head
And big as she was
Mary Agnes pushed it all the way

And the others
They trailed behind
In a daisy chain line
Followed by the dog

Goodbye old friend
Will ye no come back again
Will ye no come back again
Better loved you cannae be
Will ye no come back again
But your man had already taken the wheels off
To make a glider


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