My Blog today is a poem inspired by the work and bravery of the men and women of the Irish Navy on board the L.É. Niamh and L.É. Eithne. When I watched them on the Late Late Show I felt I wanted to write something from both sides of the boat.
REFUGEES AND RESCUERS
I’m sure you tasted the joy of expectation
I’m sure you tasted salt on your lips
I’m sure your heart swelled with anticipation
as the boat lifted on the crest of a blue Mediterranean wave.
I’m sure your arms were as full as your heart
as you strapped your infant tight to your breast
And gripped tiny hands to keep them close, because
there’s overcrowding on the boat and chaos all about.
I know your emotions must have been as turbulent as the sea,
leaving your home for a land unknown.
I know this, for I am a mother like you and
I would want my children to live free too.
I am sure your soul was swamped with terror
Just as the boat was swamped with waves, and
I’m sure you looked at your children
Determined not to make a choice
Which ones to take
Which one to leave
One sinking dinghy
No life jacket.
I know you must have cried out to your God
Though perhaps your cry was drowned by the roar of the sea
But you must have known He’d heard your silent plea
As strong arms lifted you from the stormy sea
To the shelter of an Irish Naval Vessel
To hear an Irish welcome. Then
To see the light of an Irish smile
And the courage of the women
And men of the Irish Navy
Aboard the L.É. Eithne and Niamh
The L.É. Samuel Beckett is now in the Mediterranean continuing this great work.