once upon a time

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Carol Ann, will you go round the shop?
I need some milk.
What’s keeping her? I didn’t ask her to buy the shop.
Mammy, mammy, Carol Ann’s been shot.
Oh God, Oh God!
Screaming no, don’t let it be so.
She was only going to the shop for milk.

Brian, do your homework. I am mammy.
Here I’ll give you a hand, head bowed over jotter,
Working through one of motherhood's difficulties.
Another of lifes daily grinds.
Brian, finish those sums. Okay mum.
Mammy had only been in the kitchen three minutes.
Mammy, Brian’s been shot.
Running on to the road Mrs. Stewart clasps her son to her heart.
Crying, he was only doing his homework. That’s all.

Ah, Julie, what do you want for your tea?
And don’t say you want something from the chippy.
You’re not getting any, smiling behind her back,
Where are you going Julie? Out she says.
Okay, you’re still not getting any takeaway.
Mammy,mammy, Julie’s’ been shot by a rubber bullet.
What do you mean? She was only running out to play.

From John Bull we hear
Their squaddies were only doing what they were trained for,
Murdering innocents. We, the government decreed it.
Shoot to kill all that runs on the streets of Belfast.
Still, we the families await the final conclave.
None forthcoming.
Our children lie buried beneath John Bulls indifference.

No one has ever been charged with any of these murders, no apologies ever made.

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