The last Nun

Sister Mary Francis was once Noreen to her friends
But no one’s called her Noreen in an age
Noreen was a live wire, or so the story goes
But she’s half a century now behind the stage

Never a begrudger she seemed happy with her lot
The mischief of the girls would make her laugh
Like the time when one young scaldy set a bar of chocolate free
And Noreen helped her out by eating half

She could carry down the tablets and present them for the girls
As go-between she worked for either side
If a hard word needed saying she’d deliver that as well
Mary Francis took it in her stride

When the convent closed twelve years ago herself and Sister Joan
Were rewarded with a cottage outside town
They tended it religiously and made the place a home
While Sister Joan would chauffeur them around

When Joan passed eighteen months ago, Mary Francis was alone
Noreen was alone now too n’all
And though God would come and go, there was much she didn’t know
And much of who she was she can’t recall




A poem loosely based on two nuns out of St Joseph’s Convent Newtownforbes. Free from the confines of the Convent, the two of them were always on the roads for the first few years, out and about the town.

I often think about their new found freedom in them days and also about what it must have been like when it came to pass that one of them was left behind.

I could well have had it wrong but it seemed as if she was the last nun in the area, i can’t recall having seen another.

And she was always a nice woman as far as i can remember, pleasant, but i’d say there was a bit of divilment in her past.


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