Passing Milltown on the last bus home
the gravestones flicker-flame
flare into life, just for seconds
as if to say…

Remember how we buried truth
under martyrs, under blame
when God was which and who.

The lights of The Maze play in lines
dancing chains around the gaol.
Our dead rhetoric returns
in sentences, parsed with guns.
it echoes off walls…

Haunts our silences, in these places
where those we’ve shut up, put
under stones, form monuments
in years, in tears, in flesh
bagged by the hundredweight.

from At The Waters’ Clearing (Flambard Press/Blackmountain Press, 2001), © Nigel McLoughlin 2001, used by permission of the author

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