Centenary Commemoration

by Noreen Moore Murphy Uí Laighin

Our men are dead and only our women will remember them.
Scraps aflutter in the rising wind
The medals lie heavy on the fold-up table
On barren fields, the hopes and heroes of this revolution lie, their freedom shackled
by English pennies placed over each eye.
In those faded documents, we see the lives and deaths of those exalted heroes who
gave us our freedom.
No children’s children will they ever meet, in our land, but wait with open hearts in God’s world.
They standardised our memory into textbooks.
Freedom in the bitter sadness and grief of Bloody Sunday.
Frayed humanity, reaching, yearning, trying, failing, arriving at the last resting
Those memories are frayed, fragile. Don’t speak of them.

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem was composed in Poetry as Commemoration workshops held at the Thomas MacDonagh Museum on 20th and 21st of September, 2023. The workshops were led by poet Thomas McCarthy.