Popular Limerick writer dedicates poem to staff of Milford Hospice

Popular Limerick writer dedicates poem to staff of Milford Hospice

Poet Teri Murray, Lord Edward Street who has written a poem about surviving cancer Picture Adrian Butler

A POPULAR Limerick poet who has beaten cancer has written a special piece for Daffodil Day, the Irish Cancer Society fundraiser set for Friday.

Teri Murray, who lives in Lord Edward Street, had cancer on the base of her spine. After initial treatment was unsuccessful, she beat the condition at the end of last year.

After she spent time in Milford Hospice, the manager of the centre asked the prolific poet to write a piece. Teri has dedicated this poem to the patients and staff of the well-loved hospice.

And while Teri was sitting in St Patrick’s Park in Dublin last weekend, she said the words just came to her.

“It’s the park beside St Patrick’s Cathedral, and I was walking through it and the lines started coming to me. It was very fortutious because Cathy McLoughlin [of Milford Hospice] asked me to read a poem about the process around healing,” said Teri, who hails from Crumlin on Dublin’s southside.

Asked about the inspiration behind the poem, she added: “I love flowers, and I have always liked daffodils in particular. The poem worked out itself. It is not too long, and I hope it is accessible. I’d hope people will take from it bit of my experiences were.”

Teri also hopes people who may be suffering from cancer may gain strength from the poem.

Fortunately after a difficult number of years, Teri is on the road to recovery.

“I don’t like the expression ‘cancer survivor’. I prefer to think of myself as someone who had an experience with an illness,” she says.

She plans to read Daffodil Days at the White House poetry reading this Wednesday evening.

Daffodil Days - by Teri Murray

Spring has come,

And the small angels and dryads who tend to the daffodils,

are announcing the good tidings in a chorus from yellow trumpets

And the birds too, have come

Wagtails, starlings and a solitary robin,

Chirping silver notes in the trees

That melt into raindrops

On the paths of the People’s Park

The same birds I had watched

From the window in my room in the hospice, in December

Feathers folded, armoured for the wind

Beaks pitted against the hard, scarred earth

They had come to keep me company

Bear witness to the harrowing hours

In the long, dark nights, when only a thread of the moon dangled

From an owl’s mouth

Now, the sun is a Daffodil,

Streaming the healing light into

Every limb, every atom, every cell

Pouring amber into the cavities

Of my once, parched heart

And I will reach towards heaven

Pluck the flower from the sky

Pin it to my lapel

As I walk with still faltering steps

Just one every day

Because the season of the renewal

Has come again, and Easter Sunday

Is on the way

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