At Home Abroad: Hail Glorious St. Patrick
By Regina Costello
A long-awaited day
At last is in sight.
The countdown finally
Comes to an end.
Celebrations of parties, dinners, and fundraisers,
Met with anticipation, excitement and delight.
Demands a month of festivities to accommodate
the myriad of Irish pride, heritage and culture.
Awards bestowed and honors distributed,
Upon our many Irish leaders.
The Claddagh Ring, The Trinity Knot
The Tara Brooch, Ogham pendants,
Irish Flag lapel pins,
Green carnations in place of fresh shamrock
Adorn those who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
With a blow of the whistle in the early afternoon
The 178th Parade commences.
Flurries, hail, rain or snow
The show goes on. No cancelation. Ever.
Eager spectators hop on the morning train,
Drivers arrive early, greedy for a good parking spot –
Securing the best viewing stations.
Wrapped up warm,
Wearing layers of green
Flying the flag of all that’s Irish.
And they’re off!
People, horses, dogs.
Bands, dancers, floats.
Trucks, cars, motorbikes
Schools, businesses and organizations.
Bag pipes, fifes and drums.
The river of green flows past
A captivated audience
Jubilant at the sight, oblivious to the cold.
Irish pubs and restaurants
Thronged to the gills
Working hard to keep those pints pulled.
Hot plates prepared hastily
Satisfy an excited crowd
Hungry to fill up on
Guinness and Irish stew.
A long day. And a longer night.
St. Patrick could never have foreseen
The impact of his life and work
At Home and Abroad.
*Regina is a graduate of History and Philosophy from the National University of Ireland, Galway and a post graduate of Library and Information Studies from the National University of Ireland, Dublin. She is the former Assistant Librarian of the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin; former Curator of Irish American Archives of the Cleveland History Center; former Executive Director of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument Commission and former Executive Director of the Northern Ohio Rose Centre. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland. She can be reached at [email protected].