Ulster Says Yes

© By James Simmons

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One Protestant Ulsterman
wants to confess this:
we frightened you Catholics, we gerrymandered,
we applied injustice.

However, we weren’t Nazis or Yanks,
so measure your fuss
who never suffered like Jews or Blacks,
not here, not with us

but, since we didn’t reform ourselves,
since we had to be caught
red-handed, justice is something
we have to be taught.

© James Simmons, Ulster Says Yes, 1986, complete text, Poems 1956-1986, 1986, The Gallery Press.

James Simmons owns up, as a Protestant, to responsibility for injustice but asks for some indulgence on the grounds that the oppression of Catholics was not as bad as many make out.

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