I remember when the soldiers rounded us up,
I remember when they made us walk to a field,
I remember when they told us to run, but everyone was too afraid to,
I remember when one of them pressed the cold barrel to the back of my neck,
I remember when I saw someone run, but he was shot instantly,
I remember when everyone else started running, all old and young, all helpless,
I remember when I ran, as fast as I could, zig-zagging through all the wet grass…
I remember the searing pain in my leg when a soldier shot me,
I remember when I stumbled into a muddy puddle,
I remember when I looked up and saw the passageway only the locals knew,
I remember the pain as I staggered toward it, leaping over all the thorned brambles and nettles,
I remember the fear on my parents’ faces when I told them what happened,
I’ll remember this day forever.
Written by Niamh Purcell as part of Poetry as Commemoration workshops led by David McLoghlin in Villiers School during Creative Schools Week in May 2023.