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Apr 2019
Her baby was buried
in a grave alongside 827 other babies.

Who knew no mothers.

Her mother thought it best
to let the nuns help her sell the child to the Americans.

The babies would have had names like Dermot, Aoife, Sandra and Sean

"Would have" isn’t an awfully good thing to think about.

It was a typically miserable November Sunday
When they brought her over there
after that last mass.

Unrelated to this, there is a launderette named the Magdalene
in the city I live in, which is nowhere near Tipperary but in the East of England.
In fairness, it is located on Magdalen Street, without the second “e”,
A once rough and tumble but now an up and coming kind of place,
where among the students and young professionals getting their whites cleaned
the only ones likely to take offense at this are students of history or the named émigré children of
Irish parents.
I’ve been told it’s now a chain of launderettes, but I imagine the owners have enough on their mind
without constantly Googling their services.

When they let her out of the home for troubled girls,
it was the warmest July she’d ever seen.

Some days the baby’s name is Michael, others it’s Matthew, recently, it’s been Corey, Ryan, even Sean.

But she never wishes that it would have been a girl.
The Fifth Interim Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland was released to the public yesterday, April 18th 2019. These "Homes" facilitated the birth and adoption programs instituted by the Catholic Church in Ireland, with the purpose of incarcerating women who fell pregnant outside of marraige. The mother and babies who did not survive life in these non-hospital envoirns were buried in mass graves in sites such as that of Tuam, co. Galway. The full report can be located here
Written by
Westley Barnes
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