Poetry as Commemoration

by Pamela Howard

It was not civil that fight
The freedom to achieve freedom
Was not revolutionary enough or right
To those who wanted liberation from

The treaty, the oath, the crown
Brother fighting brother
Bitterness handed down
The friend became the other

In ‘21 Jack Lawlor was shot
By free state troops, sad history
Ballyheighue was the spot
On all sides acts unsavory

Poetry as commemoration a keepsake
To give flame to the flickering ember
Is history is a nightmare from which we awake?
Or are we too distracted to remember?

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem was composed in Poetry as Commemoration workshops held at the Lexicon Library, Dun Laoighaire in July 2022. The workshops were led by poet Catherine Ann Cullen.