My Civil War

by Clara Cottrell

They see a world of function,

I see a world of destruction.

Crashes and bangs are the sounds that I hear,

But they’re also the sounds that I fear.


I gaze into the future,

I wonder, will we be wracked with sorrow and anger,

Will we have cracked?

So many lines taken and crippled,

It’s a civil war

But all things are uncivil.


I still have my life to spend,

But I am old enough to know

War is not a friend.

It’s not something you can 

Sit with,

Walk with,

Talk with,

Tell your troubles to.

After all, war to me is not new.


Hate rips through all of us like the sharpest knife.

But really, is this any way to spend your life?

True, I still have my life to spend,

But I also have my life to mend.

Written by Clara Cottrell as part of Poetry as Commemoration workshops led by Lucinda Jacob in St. Matthew’s National School, Sandymount in May 2022.