The dverse prompt this evening is a serious one, to take a quote from someone who spoke out about social justice, human rights, or equality and use it in a poem. I haven’t chosen a peaceful quote, because in some circumstances and in some epochs, peace was not an option. As a child, I remember heated Michael Collins versus de Valera arguments at family gatherings fifty years after Collins was assassinated. This is a quote of his I’m fond of. The words of the quote are in bold.
The gift that he gave us was to
Give us the future,
Though the future would be tough,
And much blood was left to shed.
But we’d had enough of hunger,
Eight centuries and more, so
We’ve had enough of your past
He said, let us build our own today.
He made them Give us back our country,
Our fields and our townships,
To live in, as our hearts say,
And to grow in, as a people,
And he dared to tell them why,
We would fight to have them gone—
That a country is a home,
A country is to Love.