From Tears to Truce

February 2021 – For sale on eBay
1 Foden Pyrene – Condition used – Not in working order

The boy holds the man’s hand as they dander along
the Strand Road heading for ice-creams.
Thoughts of hundreds and thousands
of sprinkles with a chocolate flake
light up his face.

A drenched boy choked, coughed, and wept in drifts of tear gas.
His lacerated hands grasped a shivering nubble of brick
ripped from a Bogside pavement to make civilian ammunition,
as rubber bullets, fired by boys in soldiers’ garb,
soared through the air and the black raptors
glistened with weapon-water spewed from a cannon
housed in a Foden Pyrene fortified twenty-six-tonne military truck.

Hands of wounded healers tentatively reach out
across a divide as deep as hate and wide as fear,
clump by clod and brick by block,
building a bridge of peace
over Foyle waters.

The man holds the boy’s hand as they dander along
the Strand Road, heading for ice creams.
Ridged scars of warfare on his palm
branch from his wrist
and curl around his grandson’s pudgy warmth.

First published in Community Arts Partnership Anthology Threshold, 2022

Peace Bridge over River Foyle Derry
Foden Pyrene Military Truck
Foden Pyrene

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