Farewell Sister T

Nun's Beach

"Nuns' Beach, Portland" - photo: Warren Mars

I wrote this poem to farewell Sister Teresa Reid of the Loreto Sisters, who was leaving Portland, on the occasion of her retirement to Ballarat, to a place the Order kept there to look after its aged members.

She was a regular member of the Portland Poetry Group that I was part of at the time, and as the poem relates, was fond of the works of WB Yeats; like herself a native of County Sligo.

Farewell Sister T, from your home by the sea,
From the rocks and the lighthouse that stands in the swell.
From the gannets and terns and the salt air of freedom,
The winds and the limestone, they all wish you well.

Farewell Sister T, from your friends in the town,
The people at CEMA, the musical crowd.
And we most of all who read poems together,
Who sit in a circle and speak them out loud.

There are some of us readers who stick with the Banjo,
And others who turn to whatever's in vogue.
But for us you will always be sitting, reciting:
"The Isle of Innisfree" in your broad Sligo brogue.

It's a long way from Portland to Sligo dear Sister,
Will you stand there again? Maybe none of us know.
But from all of us here in the poetry readers,
We wish you contentment wherever you go.

Warren Mars - October 2000