Casement – Aoife Hynes

The teacher glanced off him
Her catchphrase “Moving on!” accompanied by a hand wave
Waving Casement away
In the student’s notebook he had one line
No backstory, no prologue
He didn’t have a life before or after
He was one line of truth
“Casement was caught bringing arms for the rebellion from Germany”
He wasn’t wreathed in laurel and placed on a pedestal
At the height of the heavenly martyrs
Pearse, McDonagh, Mac Bride, Connolly and all the rest
Those whose names adorned the Proclamation of our independence
Whose voices rang outside the G.P.O.
Whose ears heard the whistle of the bullets
They sacrificed all for independence
Became terrorists, breakers of peace
Revolutionaries, patriots, warriors
Nobility to some, problems to others
Casement, who sacrificed all, could not be placed on that pedestal
The sinful creature that he was
His natural inclinations enwrapped his reputation, visible to history
And reduced him to “sodomist”, freak, unnatural
He lost as the others did, but he was born to lose
Ireland has not forgotten his name
Ireland has forgotten his life beyond that one line

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