‘Dearest Kitty’ by Thomas Goulding

Last year marked the centenary of the passing of Michael Collins, one of Ireland’s greatest leaders. He was engaged to be married to Kitty Kiernan and the pair kept in contact through many letters during this time. Each letter Michael wrote began with the words Dearest Kitty and this poem is a tribute to their love and commitment through one of Irelands most historic periods.

Dearest Kitty
by Thomas Goulding

In the still of the night
I lay dreaming of you
I’m safe in the arms of
My love fair and true
You spoke of tomorrow
And all it may bring
A pale ivory gown
With two wedding rings.

I roused from my slumber
To a feel of unease
With a voice so familiar
A hands tender squeeze
My father he bowed
Alongside my bed
I’m so sorry our Kitty
But the big fellows dead.

I read through your letters
As I settled and wept
Your soft spoken voice
And a promise unkept
Amidst ally and blood
You could not have foresaw
Where the wild heather grows
Down in Béal na mBláth.

Long seasons now pass
Like a scythe to the corn
Though splintered within
I harbour no scorn
Fond memories enduring
Your smile in my head
And a last written letter
“Dearest Kitty…” it read.

Your last written letter
“Dearest Kitty..” it read.

Michael Collins (l) and Kitty Kiernan (r)

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