New Irish Writing: March 2020’s winning poem

A Poem from My Father to My Mother by Steve Denehan

Steve Denehan

Steve Denehan


Remember when we met

when I was a kite

when you were the wind

when Dublin was dance-hall days

foggy nights

what-ifs and maybes

remember when I fell into myself

how you forgave me

and forgive me still

remember Burt Bacharach in the hotel lobby

when you exclaimed, “It’s him!”

remember how we used to dance

how the room spun with us

This Guy’s in Love with You

remember when you said, “Yes.”

remember those funhouse mirror years

when you remained a childless mother

remember the worry in your voice

when you threw the word into the air

not knowing if I would catch it


remember how I was the fool

who should have held you


remember how they grew

in our arms

on our laps

how they left

but never leave

remember when months became decades

and we forgave ourselves

for getting old

remember before

I started

to forget

remember when we ran across the dawn

or wanted to, at least

Steve Denehan is an award-winning poet who lives in Kildare, Ireland, with his wife Eimear and daughter Robin. He is the author of Miles of Sky Above Us, Miles of Earth Below (Cajun Mutt Press), Of Thunder, Pearls and Birdsong (Fowlpox Press), Living in the Core of an Apple (Analog Submission Press) and A Chandelier of Beating Hearts (forthcoming from Salmon Poetry). His numerous publication credits include The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review, Acumen, Westerly and Into The Void. He has been nominated for Best of the Net, Best New Poet and has been twice nominated for The Pushcart Prize.