The Emigrant's Suitcase

By Diarmuid McGivern, 2nd Year

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

I clicked my brown leather suitcase closed

All my worldly possession inside

Half a lifetime of memories

What was left of my family stood outside

Bathed in the pale sickly light of the sun.


I chatted awhile, it was a forced conversation

My feeble mind unable to make sense of the fact

That this was the last time I would see them.


Then came the time for me to

Hop into farmer Joe’s cart

As I did I hugged my suitcase

My mind wondered if this was all

That history would remember of me

With only the initials G.T. to show my name.


With a jolt the cart began to move me

Into a new life of opportunity and prosperity

My mind was calm as I realized

Life goes on, but we remember.


Inside the suitcase was

A man’s hopes and dreams

Who crossed an ocean on hope

Only to be made a plaything of death itself.

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