Tears/A Lacrimosa

© By Padraic Fiacc

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for Geraldine

I Unisex

After the bombing the British soldier
Looks up into the barbwired Irish
Twilight. His unflinching open eyes
Deaden, yet involuntarily flood
With the colour of tea –
Drenches his combat jacket sleeve.

Now he is hugging,
Now he is giving
his male love
To a screaming fellow being he does
Not know if it is a man or a woman.

II Lullaby

When the ricocheting bullet bites into
The young child wanted to walk
In her mother’s high heels to push
The doll’s pram, she
Gives out a funny little ‘oooh!’

And lets the blood spill
All over her bright new bib …
No pallbearers are needed.

The young father is able himself to carry
The immaculate white coffin but
Stains it with a dirty-faced boy’s
Fist-smudged tears
then suddenly cries
Out like a man being tortured by water.

© Padraic Fiacc, Tears/A Lacrimosa 1986

Padraic Fiacc’s poem recalls incidents in 1972, in one of which a little girl died by a ricochet.

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