Tied Tongues and Hands

by Ronan McBride

Well, what’s the story? How’s it going? Are you well?
No. What’s your story? How’s it go? And does it tell
Of your family; of some history that’s been passed down
That you can share? Did they win? Lose? Or fight the crown?

Have you got any change? Has there been any change?
Do the Four Courts still burn? Do the people still yearn
For their freedom? To live safely so they can learn
What’s been given, what’s been taken, what’s still our of range

Come here to me. Or can you not? Are you held back
by the past? What’s been done in your name, for your sake.
The posters, the pamphlets, the cards. Do you take
Them with you, weighing on your, thinking of an attack?

It was good to have met you. A parting of ways.
Let it be. Set it down. Let us see without frowns,
Where we come from and not b held back or held down.
Ach, sure, you know yourself. See you in a few days.

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem was composed in a Poetry as Commemoration workshop held as part of UCD Festival on June 10th 2023.  The workshop was led by writer Catherine Ann Cullen.