by Liam Canniffe

Dug out of soft earth,
In a fertile plain,
Where crops were grown
And little had scarred
The silence of the soil,
In its many years
Of human toil and tender.
There it became at once
A shelter from shells,
A security from colds winds,
A kitchen, a bedroom, a latrine,
A home, but unlike a home,
A sickroom, a mortuary
For some, final resting place,
Release at last from a hell,
For those who paid the price:
An unwelcome memory
For those who lived and left
And never told the tale.


Reproduced with the kind permission of the author. This poem features in the collection No Memorials – The Forgotten Irish (2015) by Liam Canniffe.