‘What We Learned at Loreto’ by Audrey Molloy from her debut collection The Important Things is our Poem of the Month for May 2021.
The Important Things is due for publication on 24 June 2021.
What We Learned at Loreto
Nothing useful, like how to apply fake tan
with a sports sock for an even finish
or the way to separate mascara-clotted
eyelashes with the stem of your earring.
Some simple rules would have been handy:
short hem or low-cut — but never together,
and how to keep a bit of mystery.
Instead, lists of dates, battles, treaties.
My overnight bag rolls on the back seat
where I threw it before leaving.
All that’s keeping me from swift death by lamp-post
is the dashboard clock churning up dates:
Ten fourteen, the Battle of Clontarf.
Eleven eleven, the Synod of Rathbreasail.
Twelve fifteen, the Magna Carta.