August 1922

Michael_Collins

To know that death is waiting,
Beyond a turn in the road,
To know that home, the place of beginnings,
Will also be the ending.
To have so much to bear,
And to know you are just one, and a weak one at that,
And still to drive home, to say goodbye.
To drive on to the last bend in the road,
Between fields and stone walls,
Tangled blackthorn and blackface looking on,
With the clouds rolling overhead,
And the hedgerows full of blackbirds.
Behind, in the house, a woman at the window,
Love left by the hearth,
And the last sound, the rattle and whine of death.
So much waste, so many years of shed blood,
And yours not the least.
No beauty in this terror, if not in the thought,
To go home and pass beyond the last bend in the road.

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Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

9 thoughts on “August 1922”

    1. Thanks Damien. I remember, as a child, listening to the raging family ‘debates’ about Michael Collins and Dev, how my Uncle John would be leading the Collins forces, glass of stout in hand, and my grandma giving him a rare lashing on the treachery of Mick Collins and even if Dev was a toe rag of a Yank, at least he was for carrying on the war etc etc. Until I reached an age to decide these things for myself, I had always sided with Grandma Brennan. Now, I think I can see the men behind the images, and frankly, Dev has about as much carisma as a rotting potato, while Michael Collins is the archetypal flawed hero. I know which one I’d be rooting for now. Grandma B had a fondness for warmongerers. Her all time hero was Napoleon, after all.

    1. I’m so pleased you liked this, Peter and that it didn’t come across as sentimental lionizing. Collins was a great, charismatic leader, but he was also a human being and it’s his humanity that was his downfall.

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