What's My Tribe?

Entry by: Finnbar

12th October 2017
My tribe is a plastic train set, thrown at the perfect velocity to cut through the tension above the kitchen table and smash on an unrelenting forehead.
My tribe is a row of stones and oak saplings, marking the graves of three dogs, one cat and two chickens. The dogs lovingly carried in their blankets to the fresh wet earth, the chickens scraped on the end of a shovel.
My tribe is arguing about vaccines, and whether meat is bad for your health, and how to use the acre of land. But not about politics or history, where we only discuss.
My tribe is tracing its lineage back to a fifteenth century Polish earl, is fleeing the Nazis in 1939, is hiding the Republican Army from the Black and Tans in a fish shop in Clambrassil Street, is going over the trenches in no-man’s land to pull back wounded soldiers, and sniper fire be damned.
My tribe is two little girls walking thousands of kilometres to watch their mother die in Kazakhstan.
My tribe is building surveys, interior design, astrophysics, veterinary, landscaping, table waiting, school, and a gifted toddler being scared by uncle’s growling.
It’s mountain biking, chicken rearing, canvas painting, rock climbing.
It’s theatre tickets as Christmas presents. It’s fights so bad reconciliation is inconceivable.
It’s never having the time, and growing up pretending.
It’s crying at the kitchen table, and cars leaving in the night, and a decade of putting pieces together.
It’s laughing on a mountaintop, and a new business idea, and wishing we spoke polish (Przepraszam!).
My tribe is a house full of more books than you could read in a lifetime, and one Netflix account.
It’s weird like everyone’s, only mine is weirder.
My tribe is County Wicklow; Glendalough, Carrick Mountain, Avonmore House, the Sally Gap.
It was never GAA in Ashford, and only football in Roundwood to fit in.
My tribe is convincing her to take Elmo as a confirmation name, and laughing when the priest had to say it.
My tribe is dogs, washed in the bath. It’s decking rotting through. It’s half-painted gable walls. It’s flowers potted in old wellies and the guts of car tyres.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
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