I’ve gone belly-up for my prodigal
and his knock-kneed swagger of hit-or-miss.
It suits him, the fall from grace.
Wafer-thin, minty-fresh, proto-punk.
Everything wasted becomes the boy,
crowd-sourced collar of hickeys blooming,
the headless glamour of youth,
all that I’d given up for lost.
My prodigal returns to me
without his keys, his coat, his shoes,
tapping his familiar tattoo at my door
as if I still had everything to give—
a kingdom, a cigarette, a fatted calf—
and all he had to do was ask.
Some mothers fear the worst. They still believe
in the fiction of control. Poor kittens.
Poor mittens. Poor sacrificial cotton socks.
I seem to be the bearer of bad news;
blue-eyed princeling, anime-bright,
articulated idol, towhead intactus.
A smile so sly you’ll forget your lunch.
That smug reflex of maternal pride.
Been there, done that. Took the fall
from the broken bough, cradle and all.
Almost a year since I almost lost him.
Lost the plot. Lost my head. Lost the habit
of believing in a time when “the worst”
was still good enough….”
-Read the entire poem at Mudlark.
I made this ‘Best of the Cranberries’ Spotify playlist for myself ages ago. After the shock of Dolores O’Riordan’s death, it seems appropriate to share. It’s pretty much The Cranberries’ entire first two albums plus a few other songs. I still frequently listen to their debut, which is still very much an excellent and unusual album.
The Cranberries were every bit as much a part of the soundtrack to my high school years as grunge. My group of friends once drove around in the snow just to listen to their entire debut album together on my friend’s car cassette tape (yes I’m that old) player. At that time, we’d never heard anything like it. I pinned the lyrics to their song “Wanted” on my bedroom wall and had a heated debate on The Cranberries vs. The Sundays with a clerk at my local music shop (those glorious pre-internet days!).
Like Chris Cornell, Dolores O’Riordan had an unparalleled voice that didn’t receive nearly as much attention as it deserved.