As it should be

© By Derek Mahon

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We hunted the mad bastard
Through bog, moorland, rock, to the star-lit west
And gunned him down in a blind yard
Between ten sleeping lorries
And an electricity generator.

Let us hear no idle talk
Of the moon in the Yellow River.
The air blows softer since his departure.

Since his tide burial during school hours
Our kiddies have known no bad dreams.
Their cries echo lightly along the coast.

This is as it should be.
They will thank us for it when they grow up
To a world with method in it.

© Derek Mahon, As It Should Be, 1979, complete text, Collected Poems, 1999, The Gallery Press.

Derek Mahon here parodies the idea that practical solutions are achieved through direct violence.

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