© 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.