We were like young saplings
except for Madge*
years had given her wisdom
like the oak trees we sang to in the park
and carved our initials deep into the bark
never knowing how much a tree might hurt
nor did we care at the time –
for nothing mattered then that did not rhyme!
as we stood to attention, heads erect, and in line
saluting our fallen dead –
while words from the Proclamation
loudly and proudly were read –
although that prison yard was small, it was
large enough for us to play, parade or silently pray
while breathing fresh air for a limited time each day!
They took our time and caged us in
with only cement and wire, thinking
that imprisonment would dampen freedoms fire
but neither death nor prison
were enough to shatter freedoms dream
for, we were growing oaks standing side by side
and now almost fifty years but three
I think of each of them a tree –
I hope they think the same of me!
*Madge was the oldest female internee; wife, mother and grandmother and pensioner.
Names of all the female internees in Armagh Prison 1973-75
Liz McKee, Teresa Holland, Ann Walsh, Angela Nelson, Marie Delaney, Colette Mulvenna, Marian Friel, Ann Doherty, Brenda Cassin, Roseleen Watson, Margaret Shannon, Kate White, Briedge Mc Phillips, Lilian Kelly, Anne Marie Mc Williams, Evelyn Gilroy, Mary Kennedy, Geraldine O Neill, Geraldine Mc Cann, Julia Trainor, Moya Hennessy, Kate Finnigan, Margaret Barr, Annette Kennedy, Rossini’s O Reilly, Deirdre Flynn, Mary Robinson, Mairead Taggart, Madge Mc Conville, Gerri Cavanagh, Claire Delaney, Geraldine Taylor, Jean Delaney, Naula Tully, Eileen Delaney, Madeline Moore.