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The Web Poetry Corner - James Bredin - When I worked for Board na Mona

When I worked for Board na Mona


James Bredin

I worked for Board na Mona when I was fifteen,
Lied about my age; I was supposed to be sixteen,
We moved in front of a turf collector machine,
Much more sweat and turf dust that I had ever seen.

We worked by day and night where lights lit up the bog,
Especially near morning in cold or heat and fog,
Numbing mindless work amid the roar of machine,
Introduction to the real world when I was fifteen.

Foreman decided to speed up the operation,
Move faster on the bog increased noise and vibration,
I had been taught that Irishmen were always fair,
A prologue to another reality nightmare.

And when we couldn’t take it any more we slowed down,
He looked like he broke a blood vessel with a frown,
He fired us all on the spot and suddenly no job,
Fifty Irishmen trudging slowly along the bog.

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