Three Years On

–by Saoirse Maxwell

There’s an unveiling at the end of day,
when heather clouds move west, stretch and
slide across Galway Bay –
To breathe in the fiery afterglow of setting sun.
And the cracks begin to show.
Blustery puffed clouds sliding, scudding West.
Cows stick out their necks, over stone walls,
and moss.
Inhale deeply and bellow.
And bellow.
For their nightly feed.
Magpies, starlings and stray cats gather around the house.
Darkness sifts in.
The last few clouds melt into night
as the stars dot the skyline.
Chinks of light.
Little and big scattering and growing.
Like those for you, Mom.
Walls of lies and corruption, silence, starting to crumble.
And I hammer on and on gaining momentum.

Because, Mom, now I am incensed.

A focussed, calm rage that will tear these ramparts down.
Betrayed by so many systems, your solicitor and family.
Called liar, over and over and over.
Twisted words.

I cannot turn from your anguish, your horrors in your hospital bed.
Your terrorized shrieks of “Jesus is pain,” where once was Godlike serenity.
Your yank at the bed-sheets as you tried to escape that blessed cross,
and the murmuring Franciscans you once adored.
That horror on your face so much worse than the blanketed gaze of survival.
Or, making do.
Terror in your jittery hands.
Panic as you pressed what you could of your body deep into mattress, pillow and spine.
All to escape the looming silver crucifix held by the monks, whispering Jesus over and over.

Three years on; the facts continue to tell the sordid story.
Bank accounts haemorrhaging money.
Your solicitor refusing transparency and accountability.
I am dug, Mom.
All has come to this.
Shining the light.
Setting you free.
Balancing the scales
of justice.


World Elder Abuse Awareness Day UN Declaration of Human Rights European Year for Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity Towards a Society for All Ages