Issue 26: Mark Lawlor


   ‘Will you please go to Harrods and look at children’s gloves.’

   – Arthur Crutenden Mace in a letter to his wife.

a glove brought

as an offering

drops from

a goalie

a young American punter

a man who just pops out of the shelter

for a horse drawn tram

it comes round the corner

sunlight on its top

a man in Dublin who greyly crosses the street

in 1957

it materialises in front of the post office

an undertaker’s glove

an IRA man’s glove

still warm from the hand

of a lover

or another man 

a gentleman is known

by his gloves

wore one like this and white

not black

the Sepoys in Sheerporah

cut Sam with a sword

taking off his left arm 

in 1858

and by god his career 

is only starting

General Sir Sam Brown

constructs a belt

that goes over his shoulder

and holds his sword

to compensate 

for his ghost arm

some say that Sam

pinches the baldric

from warrior Sikhs,

the Nihang 

(one being fearless

and unrestrained) 

part of an officer’s

uniform (the belts)

can come from 

one being fearless

and unrestrained

for an officer

must be fearless

and restrained

by belts

Sam’s arm and hand and glove

are not there

he poses for a photograph

his hat and white plumes

almost covering

a glove

a flopping piece of uniform

and maybe

just maybe

the ghost arm 

drops a ghost glove

in lost places

or a gabardine coated man

with a Sam Brown belt

a member of the 

Irish Republican Army


listening to the road

of grey noise


look for 

the glove

of Tutankhamen

bright red and blue


he pulls the reins

lets go 

his horses

they canter  

through the desert

or does Cecil Beaton

forget one

in his carriage 

in 1922

going from London

to St John’s in Cambridge 

or of Laërtes 

his losing one

while walking in his garden

a glove is waiting

behind O J Simpson’s guest house

or Shakespeare’s dad

a white tawer

his local material

mostly deer

drops one

for us

in a time of masks 

a glove

a hand me down

materialising again at the post office

a gift

slithers on top of a wall

and you don’t know  

if honour is calling 

for a duel

a glove strikes a man

on the face

throwing down the gauntlet

it can be a thief’s

or a prop

from the Mummers

(Momus, a Greek god

of mockery and scoff)

the doctor will give

a magic potion

we are all off again

the glove


comes from a team

of Morris Dancers

baldrics and ribbons

and a group of longswords

being put into lock 

around her ghostly neck

she (is a he)

dresses in an old woman’s clothes


to gaze at dancer’s legs

in the confusion 

loses her glove

when the lock

is put on her

a glove

g - love

in The Tail of Mac Da Thó’s Pig

Diarmaid claims that Conall Cernach

put his bloodied hand 

on a banner

as he avenged the death

of Cú Chullainn

O’Neil and Ulster 

brooch the bloodied hand

for themselves

caught with the red hand

are you galloping for the border

realising the rider

in front of you

will reach the land

before you

lop off a hand


and throw it 

so the first flesh

that lands

is your flesh 

once more 

diesel changes colour

at the border

and a red glove

smelling of it  

is found in

thousands of margins

and then today

a young American gentleman

who has a baseball mitt

sleeps with it

under his mattress 

has come to one of Europe’s

great race courses

with a man

vivaciously talking

and the man

dead for some years

has disappeared 

into the crowd 

leaves the young American

with a glove

Mark Lawlor lives in Sheffield. Poems have appeared recently in Cyphers,  the moth, Skylight 47. Awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship 2020.

Copyright © 2021 by Mark Lawlor, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.