Loss And...

By Adam Lennon, 2nd Year

Object No. 95 Emigrant's suitcase, 1950s
National Museum of Ireland - Country Life

A decayed, leather box,

With two rusty, metal locks,

With a soft, smooth handle for a firm grip,

And initials stamped to certify ownership.


The suitcase had belonged to my father, who

Tragically died in World War Two.

He knew he wouldn’t return, so he put it in his will.

How could he return/ His gentle soul would never kill.

Along with the case came a note inside,

“John, I give you this case in my memory,

Just promise you’ll never live in misery.

It was a gift from my father for finishing school,

Knowing I’d graduate becaue I wasn’t a fool.

This suitcase is for you, what a fine heirloom,

Please, never think of it as a tomb

For me, putting objects I owned into it,

Rather as a trophy from me to you,

For making me proud to be my father,

Like you always have, and always will, this is an award.

Now live your life, I am with the Lord.”


Now I must say goodbye,

Fighting with myself not to cry,

Because of my government,

Who refused to fund Ireland’s agriculture,

Our main and almost only means of pay,

Gone, so I can no longer stay.

I must transport my life oversea,

With my new case to Lady Liberty,

To the home of the brave, and land of the free.

The initials of my case haven’t been removed,

Nor shall they ever, G.T. shall never be replaced,

George Tynan shall never be erased,

As if the two letters were engraved.

How will I start a new life,

Without worry and strife?

I won’t. I never will.

I was John Tynan and I am still,

Sure, I will live in a new environment with different scenery,

But I am the same as ever, shown by a case, its contents, and my memories.

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