A Protestant Gaelgor’s first Angelus

growing up as a suburban Church of Ireland child, i regularly heard the Angelus on public radio and tolled from local churches. I never experienced the pious rosary being group-recited, until i went to the Gaeltacht. that was a summer school, to improve Irish language speaker’s abilities. i never felt so alienated than around that tea-table, where it was assumed we would join that unknown pious Catholic prayer.


  • Summer school spoken native tongue,
    verbs and sentences now not so strong;
    dance steps forgotten, also Irish songs.

    Angelus prayers, unexpectedly uttered,
    gaelgor mangled, male awkward muttered;
    our tea cooled, our toast waited, unbuttered.

    Unversed in that rushed rosary ritual,
    my cheeks burned, Hemmings heretical;
    sentimental, saintly Marian devotional.

    A Protestant, i dig spade with left foot*
    – am i really Irish, do i make the cut?
    spiritually separated, no if, or but.

    I’m mixed bundle of contradictions,
    unsympathetic of religious restrictions –
    “faith of our fathers” – unfortunate frictions.


    “Gaelgor” – a speaker of the Irish language

    *Protestants are presumed to only dig with their left foot on the spade


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