Collective Memory: A Collage

by Collective Poem

The medals lie heavy on the fold-up table
They have standardized our memory into textbooks
On barren fields, the hopes and heroes of the revolution lie,
their freedom shackled by English pennies placed over each eye
In these faded documents, we see the lives and deaths of
those exalted heroes who gave us our freedom

Joseph MacDonagh stands as he describes the bitter death of
Thomas Patrick Ashe at the Inquest
     Freedom in the bitter sadness and grief of Bloody Sunday
Frayed humanity reaching, yearning, trying, failing, arriving at last at restless compromise
   Scraps a-flutter in the rising wind
Those memories are frayed, fragile: don’t speak of them

Reproduced with kind permission of the authors. 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.