In Memory of Dolores Maxwell


Dolores Maxwell, Rosslare 2007

24 April 1930 – 28 November 2010

Died by familial elder abuse, her human rights and dignity crushed – facilitated by a lawless society mired in corruption deep within its legal, medical and social systems.

We must – all of us – speak out for those who cannot.

Four Years On



Dead Woman Talking
–by Mari Maxwell


i)

On ladies' beach a kayaker stretches his paddle,
perpendicular windmill turning in the
mirroresque bay.
Down and up.
Under and over.
Time as it is.
Kayak sliding forwarding.
Thoughts seeping backwards.
You and me on the Delaware.
Summer weekends.
Carried by currents and love.
Buoyed by water, friendships
a warmth and openness I now yearn.

ii)

Here, Irish shutters rattle down,
lock deep into place.
Roller top desks of antiquated
systems that care more for white collar
than honest scraped hands.
We crawl. We scrape. We scuttle.
And, the mighty few point and shudder.
“Dig deeper. Dig faster.
Dig deeper. Faster. Faster.”

iii)

How can they hear you?
Dead. Battered. Woman.
A nothing.
The voiceless.
They dress in good suits, ironed shirts,
with razor pressed edges.
Wafting of Hermes, Dior or Gucci.
They talk at and not to.
Slap heartily on shoulders so bowed and bent
from life, it only dips them farther into spinal concave.
You see humanity, peers, fellowship, equals.
They unravel chains and prep the padlock.
Clunk. Click.
No skeleton key.
Five paper inches to keeping horror quashed.
Justice denied. Protect the guilty.
While You and He smart at the practical way they rubber-band
her file. Snap it into place.
They. Just. Don't. Care.
Dead woman. Gone.
Murdering son protected by white collar fiends,
fearful the whole darn mess will implode.
And You and He try to soothe self and climb
deck-side once more.
Crawl. Scrape. Scuttle.
“Dig deeper. Dig faster. Faster. Faster.”

iv)

Another Autumn is in the air.
Supermoon and meteor showers
blasting crisp nights.
Along the Connemara coast road,
the blackberries bulge crimson, shrink black.
The white caps dance on Galway Bay,
while the Burren patchwork watches.
Four years later and the poppies still bloom,
though sparse so close to winter.
Yellow, lilac and poppy red ignites.
I am digging deeper.
Digging faster.
Tired of scuttle, scrape and crawl.
The clay collects above, a staircase to justice.
You will have it Mom.
Crimes and theft accounted for.
And –
the truth out.