The Mother of All Parliaments

The Mother of All Parliaments | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Atari game Pong. Courtesy of Wikimedia Bumm13.

‘The Mother of Parliaments’
is having a nervous breakdown
as we gather your things
switch off and leave the house.

The trees shake in this storm
as the day shakes in this week.
In your polkadot lap
you clutch your allotted baggage.

How I love you at last,
daughter – born of my flesh,
and my finite economy
of energy and presence.

You move between your parents’
opposing fronts
like the little square puck
in the 1975 Atari

home console video game ‘Pong’
moving back and forth
between two paddles.

pock pock.
                pock pock
pock pock

The premise is simple enough:

This goes on
                for so long
as the other
                shall fail
to miss.

Leontia Flynn was born in County Down, Northern Ireland and lives in Belfast. She is the author of several full-length collections of poetry including The Radio (2017) and Profit and Loss (2011).
Explore Related Content