In February 2018, a storm front dubbed “the beast from the east”, hit Ireland. Huge amounts of snow fell. Cities, towns and villages up and down the country saw folks buying up essentials at a rate of knots. Bread was particularly sought after as were vegetables. Jean was talking to her sister about the rush to stock up. Her sister told her that in Dublin, the shops were running low on most things. In fact, she was pretty sure that she had bought the last turnip in Drumcondra. I decided that a sentence like that should be immortalised. So, here is my offering. I hope you like it.
The Last Turnip In Drumcondra
Kathleen me little darlin’ would you nip out to the shops
Get a turnip and some carrots, some fresh peas and some lamb chops
I’m beside myself with worry as I have to make a stew
Mrs Cross is coming over and the Ryan’s are coming too.
“Why in all that’s holy would they step out in this storm?
They’d be better off indoors where its safe and where its warm.”
“You’d be right if things were normal but their power has gone out
And while I think of it acushla, get a few bottles of stout.”
Kathleen grabbed her hat and coat and started on her quest
The temperature was freezing, she was glad she’d worn her vest
The car was out of action, Homefarm Road’s the quickest way
She trudged in that direction the wind causing her to sway.
Bridie stared into her pantry her supplies were running low
She looked out of the window to the blizzard to the snow
She decided she must sally forth and grabbed her coat and keys
She waded through a snowdrift that came right up to her knees.
Which route would be better, who had cleared the path ahead?
Homefarm Road she knew was nearer, but Griffith Avenue instead?
She decided on the latter and strode at a speedy pace
As she turned onto the Avenue a snowball hit her face.
The kids looked shocked and then relieved when she bent down to the snow
She threw back a short volley and her aim was fast and low.
The battle raged for minutes and the missiles filled the air
She left the kids a little damp but none the worse for wear.
Kathleen stood at the main road just opposite the shop
She waited for the traffic lights to make the traffic stop
She watched as a small woman made her way up to the lights
She nodded a short greeting and commented on their plight.
Another woman joined them looking keen to cross the road
She had a bag of shopping and was weighed down by her load.
All three could see the grocer’s shop had very little left
They strained to see the shelves and they were nearly all bereft.
The friendly camaraderie gave way to vying for position
The lights turned green and off they shot, a deadly competition.
Kathleen was first inside the door and without hesitation
Filled a wire basket with canned goods and vegetation.
The other two were on her heels, grabbing what they could
One had central heating yet she went for firewood!
The bread and milk were history but when she looked about
Kathleen was relieved to see a few bottles of stout.
She had the meat, the peas and carrots but she didn’t have the swede
She ran back to the veggies with agility and speed
She saw her quarry lying there, a solitary sight
The other two were bearing down, it could end up in a fight
They gave each other desperate looks as they raced toward the veg
Kathleen was the quicker and her speed gave her the edge
Three hands went shooting forward as they tried to grab their prize
Kathleen came up victorious, determination in her eyes