Aishling II

I always knew that in Gaelic
my name meant dream or vision.
What I did not know
was an Aisling,
in Irish poetry,
is a mythical woman
who bears the burden
of telling the woes of Ireland.

My mother would say I was her Aishling.
I am her third born.
I was quiet in a world of chaos.
I was peace in a home of destruction.
I was there.

And now, I am my family’s Aishling,
bearing the burden of these stories.
The ones that are centered on old pain
and the ones that are fresh.

I tell them because they are ours
and they are mine.
Because if I do not tell them,
no one else will.
And if they are not told
they will die
when the last of us
takes our last breath.

My mother named me well,
her Aishling.

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