Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Name

In memory of Lindsay, a young mother who took her own life after spending a life fighting with depression, raising a teenage daughter, and being on drugs. Her friends and the Community mourned her in the old way. A wake was held in her mother's house and then she was returned to the Church for the final ceremonies. Her coffin of choice was made of cardboard, and her friends took to drawing pictures and messages all over its unadorned surface. The contrast between the graffiti of her friends and the ornate formality of the Church and its liturgy could not have been more stark.

The neighbours had a collection;
consolate solidarity,
and the cardboard box, bars the living
 room amid photographs that look
 anywhere but there.

A purple scarf, bruise coloured,
hides the mark of shame.
Dare I speak her name?

Friends ornament her coffin,
now a play-box
with butterflies and birds,
and messages of good intention,
  no intervention.       .

Her pretence is so perfect,
for a moment I forget,
images of hanging grub;
images of transformation

Memorialised objects and tokens litter
below rosary beads she never held;
red shoes are pretty,
soles dust-free.
Can I delete her now, from my phone?

After the house is organised,
decades of the rosary are impressed.
For the collective
there is nothing else
left to do.

With pale lips held tight,
she whispers,
You would not understand.
Now I know I never will.

©Niall OConnor 2013


  1. That's so moving Niall. We all seem to lose friends like this along the way. There but for the Graces go we....
    Best Regards

  2. Beautiful Niall.

  3. A great tribute Niall. Sadly these tragedies seem to be all too common.

  4. Heather Maecherlein BrowneJanuary 4, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Niall...this is the most powerful line...A purple scarf, bruise coloured, hides the mark of shame. Wow! I posted a poem yesterday named Shame if you feel like scrolling way down. Very strong read. Niall. Thank you!

  5. Very sad and touching

  6. Wonderful piece of work!!!

  7. Such a poignant, strong write Niall...a wonderful tribute to your friend.


Comments are welcome . . .