*Sinister is the Latin word for left-handed.
At school I wanted to be
left-handed, so I told
the teacher my right arm
was broken, hitched it in a scarf
around my neck and proceeded
to write with my left – whispery
at first, but gradually I gained
strength and my ‘O’s became
perfectly rounded: pieces of art,
letters I could stand back from
and admire. That day over lunch
I drew one on the classroom
floor, pulled a rope-ladder
from my pocket and climbed
down, careful to cover my tracks.
It seems I tunnelled in the dark
for hours, until suddenly I saw
a circle of light, clambered
towards it to lift myself out,
only to be met by the cold stare
of my mother,
a stick of chalk in her right hand.
Runner-up in The Interpreter’s House Poetry Competition in 2017, Maurice Devitt was winner of the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition in 2015 and has been placed or shortlisted in many competitions including the Patrick Kavanagh Award, Listowel Collection Competition, Over the Edge New Writer Competition, Cuirt New Writing Award, Cork Literary Review and the Doire Press International Chapbook Competition. He has had poems published in Ireland, England, Scotland, the US, Mexico, Romania, India and Australia, runs the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site and is a founder member of the Hibernian Writers’ Group.