The Tears of God

by Roisin Ní Neachtain

On each grave, where women shed

Their rough-shaven hair, 

Their grief and love 

Of fellow countrymen, 

A single flower bloomed, 

A three-leaved shape,

The tears of God. 


They crouched and wept 

And dug the history of their sex, 

Their bodies used 

as instruments in war. 


Split the stone now girl, 

Bury your brother, your father, 

Your lover and child. 

Touch the rising of a new world. 


Too much was asked.


From each of them, 

A new hate was born. 

Betrayals and divisions 

Clinging damp 

As blood-soaked shrouds.


Now we take your images, 

The violent outcry of a broken politic,

Your labour, your disease and burdens. 


I pluck the three green tears from our fields, 

Paint the edge of laments, 

Commit your violence to a cold sort of peace.

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem will feature on the Poetry Jukebox installation in IMMA in October 2023.