Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Letter to Sarah, my daughter in Madrid

Letter to Sarah (mp3)

Letter to my daughter
Maire Morrissey-Cummins

I used your mug for my tea today
I thought it needed airing.
Your name etched in green
with the Irish flag flying,
a white shamrock growing on the side.
It’s a fine mug,
a gift from your Kylemore days,
befitting your name
testament to your Irishness.

As I hold it up, it catches the light.
I see the flash of orange,
but your Dutch life comes to mind
and then a splash of red
taints my thoughts
as I acknowledge
your new Spanish life.

With your Irish mug in hand,
you are my cailín na hÉireann
but you barely lived here.

The sun is shining today,
the garden radiant
with a glint of your touch
in the chard, still growing strong.
And the mustard cress,
from one seed, a massive mound.
You, who had no interest in gardening
have left so much of your spirit behind.
The yellow rose has more buds
than it could ever bloom
and the white Lilac is so sweetly scented
especially for you.

I smile to myself,
mo leanbh beag bándearg
and I wish you were here today.
Lunch in the garden has no appeal without you.
The new teak loungers
lonely on the deck,
they await your return.
The fold-up table, weathered
from our years of use.
It holds memories of your wonderful salads,
displayed and presented lovingly
in the wide ceramic bowl.
I think of the countless pots of tea,
the elderflower cordial
and the jam we made together
as we journeyed
through our Greystones years.

I look at the garden,
there are traces of you everywhere
in all your glory.

Note: Kylemore days – Kylemore Abbey Boarding School, Galway, Ireland where my daughter studied for five years. The school is famous but has recently been closed. It is still a tourist destination, very popular.

my cailín na hÉireann = Gaelic for my Irish girl

mo leanbh beag bándearg = Gaelic for my little pink girl


  1. AnonymousJune 25, 2011

    This is so lovely it brought tears to my eyes, you clearly have a very special mother-daughter bond

  2. Rachael, Thanks!! I was tearful writing it and then reading it but its good:))