Irish Government Minister Unveils Monument to Victims of Pro-Life Amendment

On the day of the great result in the same sex marriage referendum here in Ireland, how long will it be before this poem comes true?

On a date to be confirmed,
when those who remember 1983
will sleep safely in their graves,
or be anxiously telling nurse
about the auld ones with crucifixes
they think are coming to get them

a girl, today
on holidays from primary school,
by then grown into
a Maggie Thatcher suit, will thank
the Chamber of Commerce
for use of their microphone
as a pulled chord unwraps a figure
chipped from stone

in memory
of those forced
to change trains at Crewe clutching
solitary suitcases that screamed
one night only,

those that bled out in the backs
of London taxis after journeys
made possible by post office accounts
and extra hours at the newsagent’s;

all because of a stick
which, for them, turned
the wrong colour
the wrong year
in the wrong country.

And as the Minister continues,
across the road a little girl will grab
her mother’s arm and ask:
what’s that lady saying?

KEVIN HIGGINS

Kevin Higgins poems feature in Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010) and in The Hundred Years’ War: modern war poems (Ed Neil Astley, Bloodaxe May 2014). His fourth collection of poems The Ghost In The Lobby was published in spring 2014 by Salmon. His blog is http://www.mentioningthewar.blogspot.ie/

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