Tim Coffey

1966 and I nineteen

Robed in black

Clerical gaberdene

Came to see my uncle

Uncle Tim

On his deathbed

Fond memories of him


Lovely gentle man as I recall

Strong Cork accent

Kindness most of all

Granted audience

I sat upon his bed

He talked to me

Don’t remember all we said


But I do remember this

And now recall

He spoke of the Rosminian Brothers

Of their brutality

It was like listening to a confession

Not his sins but theirs

Their love of corporal punishment

Alive then in the air


And being Tim

No anger in his voice

No vitriol

Just plain and honest truth

That’s why I remember it

Unexpected revelation

A memory he shared

From out his youthful station


He died a few days later

Died too soon

I went on my way

Seminary doom

And then today

Reading F O’Toole

About the Christian Brothers

Oh so cruel…


I remembered uncle Tim

How kind he was

And how we talked awhile

How my black garb had triggered memories

And Tim confessed their sins for them

Setting records straight

Before departing earthly life

To be welcomed at the gate


Brian Fahy

16 February 2022

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