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I’m not moving another inch. I spent years wheelin me barrow through streets broad and narrow. You’d think she’d’ve moulded a commodious seat for me weary bones. But No. I’m obliged to stand here with portions of me unblemished flesh mingling with the freezin hail and bitin gale that passes for fresh air in Dublin’s Fair City. So I says to me sculptor,


‘I’ll thank you kindly, Miss Jeanne, to throw one of me shawls across me shoulders,’ says I, polite mind. ‘It’s me habit to cover me chest while wheelin me cart through the bone-chillin dawn, or of a July noon when the blisterin sun alights on me fish-hagglin breast.’


‘Certainly, Miss Malone,’ she replied.


I’m still waitin.


In love with the swell of my bust, I dare say, the sculptor Rynhart is. And who’d blame her. It’s not that I blush displayin me bosoms for the delight of all. But a sight concealed is all the more treat when revealed – know what I mean. The trick is to discern the magic moment to let me shawl slip to procure the freshest sea morsels for me regulars, or to part a gentleman customer from his sovereigns, or a bottle of porter, dark velvety, a girl needs her guile to enjoy the snug over a long evenin. Know what I’m sayin.


‘Handsome shawls, each one,’ I opined. ‘They’d enhance my figure, your figure, Miss Rynhart.’


‘It’s a coat of wax for you, Molly,’ says she, unfurling cotton rags.


Rub a dub-dub. I nearly died!


I tell ye, I long for me merino wool cosyin me chest, its emerald and black sequins winkin up at me. Or the cinnamon – a draper’s apprentice folded o’er me fiery tresses on a moonlit pier. The scarlet, a passin nun flung o’er me freezin goose bumps. But, I’m most sorely grieved to be parted from the azure cashmere, Nora, me fevered sister, gifted me afore she coughed herself into a shroud.


‘Hear what I’m sayin, Miss Rynhart? Me bosoms. They’re mine. Me ‘cockles and mussels. Alive, Alive o!’’



[Talking Statues Competition 2018

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