Turning the corner to Bantry railway bridge

by Mary Attenborough

Turning the corner to Bantry railway bridge
The clouds darkened above the distant hill
A man was waiting, his face masked
I stopped the vehicle in response to his gesture
beckoning with his pistol for me to alight
Distant whistles and warbles of a skylark
provided musical backing to the shake of my hand
There were three full sacks in the back of the van
The gunman just took one, and said “On your way”
I hurriedly reclaimed my driver’s seat
As his form receded, I grasped the blunder
“Blast you, you have taken the wrong bag!”

Reproduced with kind permission of the author. This poem was composed in Poetry as Commemoration workshops held at Bantry Literary Festival in July 2023. The workshops were led by writer Thomas McCarthy.

Archive material for this poem:

Bureau of Military History Witness Statement: James O’Sullivan, Rock Villas, Bantry, Co. Cork. O/C, Bantry Company, Bantry Battalion, Cork