Second Death

by Lucy Cloake

As a child I dreamt
Under the scattered souls ablaze
Spread by heavy gusts polluted by violence.

Unaware and unprepared,
I awoke to lungs of ash
Clambered for light and cause and safety

The buildings burned with the fires of hell –
An entrancing pull of danger
As centuries unfolded before me

The scraps fell as the propaganda once did
Withered and crumbling –
A cremation of the past

Is any cause worth this death?
A death of memory, silencing voices
Of young and old. A second death.

As I look back I long for that night.
I long to reach my hand into the smog,
And grasp for any sense of personhood.
To keep a soul alive
And utter their name, one last time.

Written by Lucy Cloake as part of Poetry as Commemoration workshops led by Mark Granier in North Wicklow Educate Together Secondary School, Bray in September 2023.