Anonymous to History

by Darragh Coady

Send him home, our boy
His mother misses him so
Can’t we just lay our weapons down
To plough the earth and sow

The seeds to Ireland’s future
Where brother’s walk hand in hand
And reap the spoils of freedom
Some yet fail to understand

Somewhere in a bloody field
Where a wild thornbush grows
A fallen fighter’s body lies
Whose name nobody knows

How dare you write me A Chara
And pen three lines of sympathy
You’re only acting out of instruction
As set out by the orderly

Now my house has fallen silent
And my wide can’t speak to me
Our son is coming home in a pine box
To his grave in Killashee

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem was composed in a Poetry as Commemoration workshop held in association with Longford Archives at Edgeworthstown Community Library, in October 2023.  The workshop was led by writer Mary Melvin Geoghegan.

Inspired by a letter from Longford Rural District Council Clerk’s Office to Denis Skelly, Esqr. of Killahsee conveying sympathies on the death of his son, Lieutenant Commandant Michael Skelly (National Army/ Oglaigh na hEireann). Skelly was killed in an ambush near Swinford, Co. Mayo in August 1922.

Collection: Longford Archives. P9/3/5