Poetry

This Grief Is Contagious

I’m six years old in a classroom again.

I’m six years old in her classroom again.

I’m six years old and my teacher is telling me off again.

I’m talking during class again.

I’m telling the boy sitting beside me I lost a tooth again.

I’m six years old in her classroom once again.

 

I’ve been stuck in this classroom since Monday.

Replaying old memories again and again

Ever since the news broke and names attached to memories

Attached themselves to horror.

First comes the news articles, then the messages then the phone calls.

Then utter disbelief.

Because this grief is contagious. This shock is echoing.

As a nation tries to comprehend the unimaginable

As communities try to understand the actions of a husband, a father.

 

Five faces, four innocent, stretch across every Irish newspaper.

One is a face I never thought I would see outside of my old school photos

It belonged to a smiling group of six year olds standing with our soft spoken teacher.

On Monday we lost our teacher and others  lost so much more.

This country is grieving, this country is in shock.

And hundreds of former pupils

Have been thrown back into the dusty classrooms of our memories

As we look back up to our old teacher once again.

 

Her name was Clodagh.

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