‘The Children of Limbo’
© Joe Canning 2017. All Rights Reserved.
Sick to my stomach.
I am alone and thinking.
I have heard of the sunken pit.
That covert crypt of angels.
Eight hundred innocents!
Eight hundred defenceless souls!
Without baptism, without sin.
Dishonoured by Brides of Christ.
Followers of the orders of the Father,
Of purple clad men of robes and rings…
“Bless me father for I have sinned.
“Go in peace my child, I absolve thee.”
I imagine sights and smells,
When their wheezings stilled.
Their transportation to a dark chamber.
No Hail Mary’s for them; Oh no!
No “Our Father’s” for a “stained human”
A “bastard spawned in sin. Undeserving.”
No splashing of holy water on the tiny wraps.
“Off you go now to your state of Limbo”.
I’m thinking… “Thou shalt not kill”
I’m thinking, “Did they? Surely not”?
I’m thinking, “suffer little children”.
I’m hoping they will now reach Paradise.
I think of my country; subservient to a hierarchy.
Sisters without mercy. That holocaust of infants.
How many more gardens need turning, how many?
How many tots await their first blessing?
My faith is suffering now. I am in limbo too.
I fear, my mother’s examples I might abandon; and
I am angry; tomorrow, perhaps I will pray;
But only for the children; only for the children.
Photo: Grounds in Tuam, Co Galway, where the mass grave of nearly 800 babies were found