by TOM MCGREEVY
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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A Soldier Poem from inside my new book
' Poems for Paula ' ( About The Troubles in ' Northern Ireland ' )
Alone in the corner,
The Irish music blaring.
Don’t look up, don’t look round,
The I.R.A. are staring.
Have they sussed me ? Shall I leave ?
A long way to the door.
Oh God ! I feel them coming,
Slowly cross the floor.
With shaking hands, I raise my eyes,
They stare into my face.
“ You spying English bastard ! “
My heart begins to race
I think of torture, will I cope ?
A black sack on my head.
Will I scream, as they begin ?
I could be home in bed.
I asked for this detachment,
I shouldn’t really moan.
At it now for six full month,
My mind it dreams of home.
They walk on past, so close to feel.
The wee runs down my leg.
The fear released inside me,
I down my final dreg
At the table right behind me,
Sits back-up Dave, my mate.
It wasn’t me they wanted !
It’s Dave, it’s him, it’s fate !
I want to leave, I want to run,
Escape here whilst I can.
How can I leave him all alone ?
Desert another man ?
My Browning’s in my trousers,
Thirteen rounds in all.
How many could I “ Take out “ ?
Before my final fall ?
“ Save him now ! “ a voice screams out,
The voice inside my head.
Why risk myself as well ?
When Dave’s as good as dead.
I turn away, avert my eyes,
My luck is in this night.
I catch a glimpse of begging eyes,
He’s got no chance to fight.
They march him past me, held so tight,
Dave’s legs have gone to jelly.
They drag him out the back door,
A lane, so dark and smelly.
The crowd pours out, I’m sucked along,
In to the pouring rain.
Dave is down upon his knees,
His face so full of pain.
He looks at me, a silent prayer,
“ You’d help me if you could “
The sack goes down upon his head,
I will ! I can’t ! I should !
I stand there weeping silent tears,
So helpless do I feel.
Why die along beside you ?
Don’t ask me as you kneel !
The pistol rests against Dave’s head
The gunman looks right at me
Does he know I’m one of them ?
“ I’m not ! I’m Irish ! See ?
I slide my hand inside my belt,
The metal of the gun feels cold.
But I know that I won’t use it,
To die before I’m old !
The crowd all give “ The Thumbs-down “,
The signal to shoot.
My thumb it goes down with them,
I’m staring at my boot
The killer laughs right at me,
His finger on the trigger.
I’m sure he knows, I’m one of them,
He shoots ! A silent snigger.
Graffiti grows upon the wall,
Mingled with the rain.
A closer look, not chalk, not paint,
Just bits of poor Dave’s brain
I walk away down cobbled lane,
The killer shouts a warning !
“ Don’t come back upon our turf, !
You’d die before the morning ! “
They’ve let me go, tonight I live,
With the I.R.A., no messing.
To live with what I did to Dave,
“ Go home and learn a lesson ! “
I often think about that night,
And if I could’ve saved him.
Would Dave forgive me if he knew ?
I’ve since risked life and limb
Was I a coward long ago ?
Or was I only Human ?
To save myself, at his demise,
I bet he’s bloody fuming !
A time long ago, over the water
Poetry from Tom Mcgreevy