2. Dad lights the fire in the morning, makes the tea, toasts the bread in the fire. He brings Mam’s toast and tea but she waves it away and turns to the wall. He brings Malachy and me to Eugene to kneel and say a prayer. He says the prayers of one child like us are worth more in heaven than the prayers of ten cardinals and forty bishops. He shows us how to bless ourselves, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen, and he says, Dear God, this is what you want, isn’t it? You want my son, Eugene. You took his brother, Oliver, You took his sister, Margaret. I’m not supposed to question that, am I? Dear God above, I don’t know why children have to die but that is Your will. You told the river to kill and the Shannon killed. Could You at last be merciful? Could You leave us the children we have? That is all we ask. Amen.


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