Kathleen’s Birthday

I wrote this poem for my daughter Kathleen.  She was born on 8th November 1987 the same day as the Enniskillen bombing:

3 a.m. exactly – an explosion

her feet banged sore

against my ribs.

thinking they had caved in

I jumped – taking deep breath

to control the pain

later wondering if this body

would ever be the same again!

9 a.m. I was smiling

content – knowing she would soon be here

in my arms – together – life – joy

feeling truly happy

speaking to her with hands that

caressed the temple wherein she lay

safe and protected.

11 a.m. more beautiful pain – deep breaths and

it was gone – smiling I waited for

movement – it came

then on the television screen ‘news flash’

reaching for the remote and turning

on the sound

I felt – life – movement.

Twenty minutes before the end

of that day, I felt the joy of pain

and she was born

what could have been

more beautiful

than to hold our daughter

as she slept, oblivious to the world

around her?

Early next morning

a nurse said:

‘Marie Wilson was to begin work here


She isn’t here because she’s dead.

She died yesterday at Enniskillen.





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