Dedication to Mary Rose Barrett Bergin (1933 – 1990)
Including her son, Hugh and grandson, Donovan
State of Oklahoma Short Story Award
In 1957 my sister, Mary Rose, wrote this short story while she was still attending Oklahoma College for Women, Chickasha, OK. She was diagnosed with Lupus in her early twenties, married I. J. Pete Bergin and went on to raise their son, Hugh. She got to experience the joy of her grandson, Donovan. Mary Rose loved her family so dearly and in her memory — this is her unpublished story.
Old Dan Hodge shifted his
crutch and scratched his tousled
head of hair as he looked at the
stony path which led up the side
of the mountain. It was barely
discernible for the light snow was
falling, and the dancing flakes had
begun to cover the path.
He would have liked to stop
for a little rest, but Dan knew that
Mandy would be waiting for him
on this day. Forty years before
he had vowed his love for her and
consummated it in marriage. Indeed,
it was exactly forty years to the
day that he had repeated the custom
honored words which bound him to
the duties of a husband.
Mandy was a good wife, and
her grief at the death of their only
child was almost more than Dan
could bear. He had comforted her by
telling her that in time there would
be another baby to hold close and love.
But the years had gone by, and
there was no baby.
Perhaps that was why a tear
trickled down Dan’s cheek as he
began to climb again. Perhaps that
was why his voice cracked when he
started to sing “Mother Machree”.
Only Dan knew that the
tear fell and his voice failed
because Mandy was at the top
of the mountain, buried with her
Background Notes: Original Folk and Traditional Irish Song, lyrics by Rida Johnson Young,
with original music by Chauncey Olcott & Ernest R. Ball, 1910. Chauncey Olcott was also involved with writing My Wild Irish Rose and When Irish Eyes are Smiling.
“Machree” was not a Mother’s proper name. Rather, it is a term which means “dearest.” OpEdNews Article by Phil Klein.
YouTube music video of Mother Machree, recorded in 1974 by Michael O’Dwyer from
Dunmore East, Co. Waterford, Ireland.
On this Fourth Tuesday of September 25, 2012 –
Posting for @dVersePoets #OpenLinkNight
Come Read and Share and Post with fellow poets!
Bar opens at 2:00 pm Central Time.