‘Found’ © Joe Canning 2017. All Rights Reserved.

© Joe Canning 2017. All Rights Reserved.

He was a confused individual,
I watched as his eyes moistened.
In his hand a long awaited letter,
On the envelope a Dublin postmark.

The Canning river passed idly by.
Perth was at peace but not he.
I waited on some words to come;
From the lips of a stolen child.

I watched his hand unwittingly scrunch;
The correspondence; to a wrinkled mess.
Watched as he tried to smooth it again,
I remained silent awaiting his composure.

He fumbled for a pocketed handkerchief,
Took a deep sigh and looked me in the eye.
“It appears I have places to go; people to see.
I’m told there’s a welcome waiting, I am found.”

It dawned on me this was a moment of sheer joy.
This butter box baby was aware of his identity.
A child once handed to strangers to avoid shame.
This was a man that was now going home.

He asked me if I knew what Sligo was like.
“If it’s in Ireland it will be beautiful,” I replied.
He smiled and said, “We’ll see lad, we’ll see”
“There’s a lady there awaiting a son’s embrace”.

Photo from the 1950s (courtesy of Brian Lockier) shows a nun and children at the Sean Ross Abbey.


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Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.