Pat Jourdan

Petition of an Indigent Roomkeeper

 (Society for the Relief of Sick and Indigent Roomkeepers
 in the City of Dublin of all Religious Denominations,
 founded 1790)

With the passing of the first-floor-back,
moonlight flit of the second-floor-front,
demise of the front-parlour clerk,
(his furniture marooned, unclaimed,
leaving me in a legal noose),
– the Misses McCarthy silently moved out.
I miss the rhythm of their coins.

With farded trollops in the attic,
tenants winebibbing on the landing, rents unpaid,
my bluster not unpicking their pockets,
there was the public scandal of the piano being removed.

With a basement melancholy of destitution
(I can render no accounts),
there were winter gales budging slates,
downpours’ triumphs,
broken windowpanes here and there,
strangers on the subsiding stairs,
the house unfolding into weather.

Here I petition for refuge and deliverance
my rooming house having turfed me out,
its rooms unkeeping me.

After being included in the first Burning Bush, Pat Jourdan’s latest poetry collection is Citizeness, following two short story collections Average Sunday Afternoon and Rainy Pavements and the novel Finding Out. She is also the editor of The Lantern Review. More details are on the website