Finest: Maurice Devitt – “Mexico 1970”

Maurice Devitt Finest

Mexico 1970

one a.m.
England play Romania

I’m curled
like a dormouse
in the lea of the bed

light from the Telefunken
plays shadows
on my father’s face

the blue smile
when Hurst scores
the usher’s torch

and a cough
for forty years

“My father died in 1971 and for the previous few years had been in and out of Baggot Street hospital. During the 1970 World Cup in Mexico he was home, but confined to bed, and, with the family television now moved to his bedroom, I had been given a special dispensation to stay up late on a school night to watch England versus Romania.”

Winner of the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition in 2015, Maurice Devitt published his debut collection, Growing Up in Colour, with Doire Press in 2018. His poems have been nominated for Pushcart, Forward and Best of the Net prizes and his Pushcart-nominated poem, ‘The Lion Tamer Dreams of Office Work’, was the title poem of an anthology published by Hibernian Writers in 2015. He is curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site.


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