As One, Together

The Leave-Taking.JPG

 

Suffering so great, it stole my breath

Stories depicted in oil, in wood, in bronze

whispered truths as we became one

Their story was mine

 

History, the framework of the present

Without the past, this past, I would not exist

Hunger I’ve never felt pressed heavy on my privileged life

Their desperation was mine

 

As their blood flowed through my veins

I listened to voices never meant to be silenced

I mourned for the young and old alike

Their families were mine

 

When I reached the sculpture, The Leave-Taking,

the docent explained each piece, each heartbreak, each experience,

and I wept

Their tears were mine

 

My relatives made that journey

Generations of long ago made that sacrifice

As I toured that museum, I felt their hands bridge the distance

making the years in between disappear

The Leave-Taking 2

 

photos: mine

Artwork: The Leave-Taking  by Margaret Lyster Chamberlain

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum

Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut

 

*I encourage you to visit this museum. It holds unbelievable beauty and strength from the artwork to the building itself. Our docent explained that the museum was designed to represent one of the many ships that carried people away from The Great Potato Famine. There are several short films to view and incredibly helpful people there to explain the stories behind the art.

Here is a New York Times article about the museum. Mournful, Angry Views of Ireland’s Famine

 

 

 

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