by Carole Farnan

Born to a mixed marriage
(Shankill & Falls)
in your thirtieth year,
I was a blurring of lines.
Within your confines, I soon learned,
lay other invisible lines:
of name and neighbourhood,
school and job,
language and history,
music and dance.
All areas demarcated –
an eternal hopscotch
trying not to land on the cracks,
to stay within the boundaries.

In Geography l drew you
a limbless trunk
hard-edged in red-
Lough Neagh at your watery heart.
You were fenced off, held in, held back
from The Free State, Eire
and even
Shrunk to a troublesome growth
on the body politic,
Partition left you fractured,
bleeding across borders,
across all those margins


Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem was composed in Poetry as Commemoration workshops held at The Belfast Linen Hall Library, Belfast, in 2022. The workshops were led by Maria McManus


1922 , 1923 , Civil War , Partition