Kilkelly - Peter Jones

    Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 60, my dear and loving son John,
    Your good friend the schoolmaster Pat MacNamara's so good as to write these words down.
    Your brothers have all gone to find work in England, the house is so empty and sad.
    The crop of potatoes is sorely infected, a third to a half of them bad.
    And your sister Bridget and Patrick O'Donnell are going to be married in June.
    Your mother says not to work on the railroad and be sure to come on home soon.

    Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 70, dear and loving son John.
    Hello to your missus and to your four children, may they grow healthy and strong.
    Michael has got in a wee bit of trouble, I guess that he never will learn.
    Because of the dampness there's no turf to speak of and now there's nothing to burn.
    And Bridget is happy you named a child for her, you know she's got six of her own.
    You say you found work but you don't say what kind, oh when will you be coming home?

    Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 80, dear Michael and John, my sons.
    I'm sorry to give you the very sad news that your dear old mother passed on.
    We buried her down at the church in Kilkelly, your brothers and Bridget were there.
    You don't have to worry, she died very quickly, remember her in your prayers.
    And it's so good to hear that Michael's returning, with money he's sure to buy land.
    For the crop has been poor and the people are selling at any price that they can.

    Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 90, my dear and loving son John,
    I guess that I must be close on to eighty, it's thirty years since you're gone.
    Because of all of the money you sent me I'm still living out on my own.
    Michael has built himself a fine house and Bridget's daughters are grown.
    Thank you for sending your family picture, they're lovely young women and men.
    You say that you might even come for a visit, what joy to see you again!

    Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 92, my dear brother John.
    I'm sorry I didn't write sooner to tell you that Father passed on.
    He was livin' with Bridget, she says he was cheerful and healthy right down to the end.
    Ah you should have seen him playing with the grandchildren of Pat MacNamara, your friend.
    And we buried him alongside of Mother down at the Kilkelly churchyard.
    He was a strong and feisty old man considerin' his life was so hard.
    And it's funny the way he kept talking about you, he called for you at the end.
    Oh why don't you think about coming to visit, we'd love to see you again.

    © 1981 by Peter Jones


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