The Emigrant's Suitcase

By Rachel Garvin, 1st Year

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

The year is 1955,

My case in hand as I boarded a ship named Sive.

When I stepped on the deck, I became weak,

My mother waved on with a tear on her cheek.

I turned my back on the country I called home,

All alone, to Britain I am bound.


I lay on my bunk,

With my small brown trunk.

My fingers found the letters that were inscribed in the side,

G.T. they read, the initials someone’s, someone’s who had died.

I clutched my little case, my last piece of home.

All alone, to Britain I am bound.


As we crossed the Irish Sea,

The other emigrants and me.

The motion could kill,

How I longed for the ground to be still.

I took my first step on my now to be home.

All alone, to Britain I am bound.


Leather case in hand,

I stood on front of this new and strange land.

On the edge of this new adventure,

Anxiety and exhilaration fill my future.

But my being is sick with the memories of home,

All alone, to Britain I am bound.

Lost in the thought ofthe case in my hand, the questions became a stream,

I imagine the places it’s been, of which I can only dream.

I wonder how G.T.’s case came to be in my possession,

This person of whom I wonder has become a new obsession.

Did G.T. ever leave their home?

Were they all alone, to somewhere bound?



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