© By Padraic Fiacc

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in memory of my young poet friend Gerry McLaughlin, murdered 7 April 1975

How I admired your bravado –
Dandering down the road alone
In the dark, yelling ‘I’ll see
You again tomorrow’, but
They pump six bullets into you.
Now you are lying in a blood puddle, yelling

‘There’s no “goodbye”,
No “safe home” in
This Coffin Country where
Your hands are clawed …’

How can I tell anyone
I’m born, born lying in
This ditch of a cold Belfast dawn
With the bullet-mangled body of
A dead boy, and can’t
Can’t get away? A young
Brit soldier wanders
Over to my old donkey honk
Of bitter Miserere, of
Dereliction on the street:

‘What is it mate, what is it?

‘What’s Wrong?’

© Padraic Fiacc, Requin 1977

Padraic Fiacc’s grief for his murdered friend and his sense that murder has become normal in the Belfast of that time, are plain in this poem.

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