Omagh, 1998

Ellen Moth
April 14, 2023

Your mother is obsessed with mosaics.

After the bombing, her room was covered in stones,

the light danced playfully

asking for a game, so she picked them up


                               by one

before throwing them against the asphalt.

They bounced for a moment,

looking to see if she’d follow, then

pattered down the hill, echoing against the alley,

excited to join the morning’s garbage.

It took two weeks to clean the carnage,

              but they forgot her window.

The shards littering the carpet wrestled into her feet

each morning. Her mother assaulted the cuts

for unseeable shards, ripping into the skin

to free what couldn’t be found.

One night, she toyed with the border,

picking at the tortured glass that framed

the empty street.

Dew, fresh from afternoon rain,

coated the rubble, washed away the burning stench

beneath her home.

The moon cradled her handiwork,

glistening against the chipped reminders

of what once was.

The glass was a gentle tribute for her

steady hands, eagerly tearing at the ruins until

a broken shard grasped for her delicate hand

on it’s descent


from the apartment.

When she screamed, the glass wouldn’t yell back

It refused to sing like shrapnel or spring like stones

it had no strength,

no will of its own;

it shattered.

Related works

No items found.