© By Siobhan Campbell

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How many steps back does a soldier take
before he is due to turn around? Long stride.
Short stop. Every gate pillar has potential.
The butcher shop is open today. Fish, fresh
from the lough, hit the counter with a slipped slap.
We are out collecting rubber bullets – pocket money
for the pictures. Internal injuries braised for later.
Watching is too small a word. Desire informs
the way we see them walk. Their tempered dance
is riddled implication. They can turn into a bush
at a given sound. But the foliage is wrong for here.
We know where they are. We want to bring them
tea, hear them try to pronounce our names,
but there’s no way of saying this to camouflage.

From: That Other Island (Bridgend: Seren Books)

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