Sweet Molly Malone

By Rie Sheridan Rose

All my life I’ve heard her story,
sung the song,
sorrowed by the thought
of young life snuffed out
in an age when even a chill 
could take someone.

The fishwife’s daughter plying her trade 
on Dublin’s streets come rain or shine.
Admired from afar by the song’s creator 
who never worked up the courage
to say “Hello.”

Was it scarlet fever or cholera
that brought her low
or just a common cold that festered?

Seeing her frozen there
on the Dublin street corner
bronze skin gleaming
(breasts polished to gold by 
fawning sightseers)

I was transported back to hear her cry,
“Cockles and mussels!”
as she strode along...
And I wept that she was gone.

Rie Sheridan Rose multitasks. A lot. Her poetry appears in numerous publications, including  Speculative Poets of Texas, Vol. 1; Texas Poetry Calendar; and Illumen, to name a few. She has authored six poetry chapbooks, twelve novels, and lyrics for dozens of songs. She tweets as @RieSheridanRose.

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