Beautiful Life

by Ger Duffy

(In memoriam James Connolly 1868 – 1916)

I think of you now Lillie, our children, friends.

Remember Wolfe Tone and Robert Emmet 

hung just up the hill.  The socialists don’t know 

why I’m here, they forget I’m an Irish man. 

Poor Roddy, my lovely boy, 

how I sobbed parting from him.  

When they woke me with the news I was so afraid. 

Then you came and cried, 

But your beautiful life, Jim, your beautiful life!”

 That gave me courage. 

Wasn’t our life good?  Didn’t we achieve much?  

I sense little Mona near me.  I’ll look my killers

in the eye and see your face, I’ll hold my head up

high, take their bullets as a free man.


Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem was composed in a Poetry as Commemoration workshop led by Mary O’Donnell in Kilkenny Library on March 8th 2023.