Timmy's Childhood

Tomato Round

After my father's death
My mother sold his car
Bought a van
Never learned reverse
She was going forward
Began a Tomato round
A six O'clock start
On the long road to Dublin
The vegetable market
I went with her
Outside Naas the rosary
For a safe journey
She prayed all day
Her own way
Hail Mary
Ke sing
Ke sing
Ke sing
Ke sing
I replied the Holy Mary
She finished on decade
I completed the first prayer
my turn
My first Hail Mary
She was finished her decade
The Holy Mary
Her way
Holy Mary
She continued the rosary
I was through my fifth reply
When the Rosary was complete
Were were at Johnstown
Two miles form Naas
Then the Hail Holy Queen
With one gulp
The Litany of the Saints
Answer to each
- Pray for us
Pray for us
Pray for us
Pray for us
Pray for us
It went God
Our Father in Heaven
God the Holy Spirit
Holy Trinity one God
Holy Mary
Holy Mother of God
Most honored of virgins
Mother of Christ
On and on
The reply
Pray for us
Her version
God Father
Holy spr
I would keep saying
- Pray for us
Pray for us
Pray for us
Pray for us
Pray for us
In the middle of the litany
She would roar
So slow we were going
A tail back of cars and lorries
A determined motorist passed us
- Did you see that bastard?
- Do you think you own the road
- You lousy hoor
- Where were we?
- Mth a Chst
Div gra
Mst pur
Div lve
Pray for us
So fast she went
I fell further back
First five Saints
Then ten
Then twenty in arrears
She se was finished
I kept saying
Pray for us
Pray for us
Pray for us
Pray for us
Pray for us
Trying to catch up
I continued
Pray for us
Pray for us
Pray for us
Pray for us
Pray for us
Until she inevitably said
- Shut up
At Rathcoole a second rosary
The same procedure
Interrupting to cause a dangerous motorist
Finished at Condalkin
On reaching Dublin another rosary
For a good parking place
She was not able to reverse
Words pleading with my dead father
- For the love of Jesus Christy
Find me a space
I am here because you left me
It is up to you to look after me
If there is any problem ask Our Lady
She understands the widow
At the Four courts a final plea to my father
For the love of Jesus and His Blessed Mother
Christy find me a parking space
She always found the perfect one
I saw driver jump into vans
As she made her way in the street
On parking the van she would touch the cross
And leave it hanging on the dashboard
Quietly thank the soul of her dead husband
Once loaded we were off on our rounds
I curled into a little ball
Got between the front seat and the engine
The front seat was filled with tomatoes
The routine of the rosary began
This time for a sale
At Rathcoole
Her first call
I would continue to pray for a sale
She would sell two chips
I was back in the front seat
The prayers were a continuing affair
As we followed a road through Caragh
On to Coill Dubh and Roberstown
There were days when business was so good
She had to go back to the market
For a second load
At the end of the day
Always the prayers of thanks

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