Christ Goodbye

© By Padraic Fiacc

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Dandering home from work at mid
-night, they tripped Him up on a ramp,
Asked Him if He were a ‘Catholic’ …

A wee bit soft in the head He was,
The last person in the world you’d want
To hurt:
His arms and legs, broken,
His genitals roasted with a ship
-yard worker’s blow lamp.

In all the stories that the Christian Brothers
Tell you of Christ He never screamed
Like this. Surely this is not the way
To show a ‘manly bearing’
Screaming for them to PLEASE STOP!
And then, later, like screaming for death!

When they made Him wash the stab
Wounds at the sink, they kept on
Hammering Him with the pick
-axe handle then they pulled
Christ’s trousers down, threatening to
‘Cut off His balls!’
Poor boy Christ, for when
They finally got round to finishing Him off
By shooting Him in the back of the head.

‘The poor Fenian fucker was already dead!’

© Padraic Fiacc, Christ Goodbye 1977

Padraic Fiacc describes the torture employed by some of the Loyalist killers. He says: “… Nights In The Bad Place … even more than Missa Terribilis … is my bleakest and blackest and darkest book. The poet is alone, the ‘wolf outside munching the leper’s head’. ‘Christ Goodbye’ was a harder poem to write than Glass Grass and I don’t understand – I still can’t understand – why they would want to torture someone like the innocent old Protestant man I had dinner with in Rathcoole. Ratcool! I often wonder what happened to him.”

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