The kids wanted a piñata,
so we got them one;
but I must stress
that it had no religious significance.
It did not have seven points
representing the seven deadly sins,
and it was not an allegory
of man’s temptation in the struggle
between good and evil.
But I must confess,
we did blindfold them,
with a balaclava back-to-front,
(most Irish families have a balaclava
tucked away in a drawer),
not as a test of their faith,
but just to make the task harder.
We did spin them round,
not thirty three times,
once for each year of Christ’s life,
that would have made them sick,
but just a couple of times,
for our own entertainment.
Our piñata was not,
as tradition dictates, an ass,
which I’m sure also has
some biblical relevance,
the Bible being full of reference.
No, it was a big, round, orange
pumpkin, complete with smiling face,
filled with sweets and hung,
not on the first Sunday of Lent,
but on the last day of October.
If there was any metaphysical significance,
it was not as they blindly flailed
a brush shaft above their heads,
but earlier, as I stood in the garage
on a wobbly stool, alone,
and looped a length of rope
over a beam, and swung on it a little,
to make sure it wouldn’t break.
This poem is part of the Poetry Book Black Eyed Peace