So, she pushed her secret out
into the cold hands of a colder woman
who offered deliverance of her black soul.
After two years scrubbing their floors
she was shown the road
and the child, to
A boy, too, was born to me, alone,
though into the warm hands of a lady
who later told me in the corridor
that I was beautiful
and to put a bit of salt in the bath
to heal the wound.
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.
This poem references the County Home, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny in 1923 and three Industrial Schools: St. Patrick’s, Kilkenny, St. Joseph’s, Greenmount, Cork and St. Patrick’s, Upton, Co. Cork.