Ancestral Voices

by Pearse Museum Group

A ray of light passed
From grandmother, to mother,
To daughter,
The unbroken line of history.

They hammered down the door.
Not a stick of furniture left
On that road every door was closed
Against them.
The drawing room of two old ladies
I am swamped in memory.

One secreted away in a boat.
Another forced at gunpoint to drive.
Afterwards, they sought compensation.
What recompense would suffice?
Across a divide of love.
The aftershock still rippling.

Reproduced with kind permission of the authors. This is a collective poem composed during Poetry as Commemoration workshops held at The Pearse Museum, Dublin, in October 2022. The workshops were led by writer Kevin McDermott.