In this enthralling and personal collection, Paul Durcan celebrates his mother in original and captivating fashion. Sheila MacBride came from a political family—her uncle John MacBride was executed in 1916 for his part in the Easter Uprising—but when she married into the “black, red-roaring, fighting Durcans of Mayo” she was obliged to give up a promising legal career. These poems commemorate his mother as Durcan remembers her: playing golf, reading Tolstoy, and initiating him in the magic of the cinema. He recalls her compassion and loyalty when he was committed to a mental hospital in adolescence and how she endured the ordeal of her old age. In the meantime, Durcan is beguiled by a beggar woman, enraged by a young man picking his nose on the Dublin-Sligo commuter train, and gets into difficulty at the security gate of Dublin airport.