The Famine Cross

The Unveiling ceremony at Cathays Cemetery, Cardiff, March 17th 1999

Bitter sweet the gathering
this spring March morning.
Old women and men stand
lost in their own thoughts
of roots long forgotten.

Shamrock fresh and Celtic melodies,
cannot take away the sadness of yester-year;
The famine cross a testament to a tale of endurance and faith.
Thousands upon thousands lie still,
in unmarked graves,
their lives, short lived: 'till now, lost in the mists of time.

Two nations – one in remembrance,
bitter sweet the giving and the gain.
The Celtic cross in limestone stands—
a tribute to a people, and a pain
deep felt, this spring morn.

Celtic hearts beat as one;
A gnarled hand grasps the stick.
A tear falls on weathered cheek
for what might have been.

Today the sun shines on bent heads
in blessing—
a new beginning.
A new millennium.

This poem by Sister Breda Gainey S.S.J.A., from County Kildare and now at St. Joseph's Convent Merthyr Tydfil, was first published in the Cardiff People, the Cardiff archdiocesan monthly in April, 1999. We are grateful to the author and to the Editor, Fr. John Owen, for allowing us to reprint it here.

: Sister Breda Gainey S.S.J.A., 1999.

Published in

The Green Dragon No 9, Winter 1999/2000