Ketchup: An Obituary
It all started that Friday he came home brandishing
another bottle of it, when there was already one
gleaming unopened in the fridge. A mistake,
the whole house told itself.
Next week he turned up dragging
six bags of almost nothing else.
From then on, had it with everything:
on his bread instead of butter; with
his cornflakes instead of his usual
Eventually, dispensing with all else,
as his main course,
tomato ketchup with a side of
another shining blob of itself.
After which, he hardly opened the front door,
except to sign for deliveries, the vast jars of it
that arrived twice weekly in a van
When he wasn’t golloping it by the basin load,
he used it instead of shaving foam,
toothpaste, and as an ointment
to balm embarrassing rashes.
Spent most of the day bathing in it.
By the time he made it safely to his coffin
he was the colour of it,
looked as if all you need do was squeeze him
and the perfect dip for a plate of hand-cut fries
would spurt gloriously from between
those tomato coloured lips.
Kevin Higgins was born in London. He mostly grew up in and lives in Galway City. In 2016 The Stinging Fly magazine described Kevin as “likely the most read living poet in Ireland. His poems have been quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Times (London), Hot Press, The Daily Mirror and on The Vincent Browne Show, and read aloud by film director Ken Loach at a political meeting in London. His sixth full collection of poems ‘Ecstatic’ will be published by Salmon in March 2022.