(After reading Lecky's
History of Ireland)
What is it then, the Irishness
Fate laid on me in this largess?
A world I lost I scarcely knew,
The childhood land I never outgrew,
My father's life, my mother's tales
Of hungers, wars, workhouses, jails:
The memories not quite my own,
To which my memories are sewn.
Entangled, thus, in Erin's net,
I am what I refuse to forget.
(Socialist Organiser, January, 1992)