Among Savages

Among Savages


Kevin Higgins




I’m secretly posh and I’m protestant
and no one believes the accent I got
off a man in Stoneybatter is real.


My dad earned the Krugerrands,
with which I paid for this house,
flogging rockets to
good-old-days South Africa.
My given name, Giles Amery the Eighth,
sounds great when you say it in Gaelic.


Each night I arrive at some party
to which I wasn’t invited,
carrying half a banjo
and sing songs made up of
things Brendan Behan
never actually said.


A small unsalted tear tumbles into
my half pint of alcohol-free Guinness,
every time I think of the boys from the estate
beyond the two big fields
behind the high, high wall we built
to keep them out;


how afraid I still am
they’ll one day
hold me down and make me talk
posh and protestant,
because even when it’s accompanied
with the bit of a beard I borrowed
from Ronnie Drew,


they know the accent I got
off that man in Stoneybatter
isn’t mine to speak.



Bio: Kevin Higgins’s Song of Songs 2:0 – New and Selected Poems will be published by Salmon Poetry in April. His poems have been quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Times (UK), The Independent, and The Daily Mirror. The Stinging Fly magazine recently described Kevin as “likely the most read living poet in Ireland.”

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