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smallstepsmadpotepotriemantheartfulcodgerscogterransvoice
The handshake


Supposedly a sign of peace
To show no weapons are held
During a time of truce.

He stands there before me
Holding out out his hand.
Am I supposed to take it,
Am I supposed to understand
The simple little fact,
One I find quite sinister,
Yesterday's terrorist leader
Now today's First Minister.

He may not have armed the bombs
Or himself have pulled the trigger
But he was there in the background
A leading organising figure.
Am I supposed to greet him
Squash down loathing and hate
Treat him as a friend in
The interests of the State.

I stand and look him in the eye
Until he pulls his hand away;
There may in time be forgiveness
But not just yet, not today.
He continues down the greeting line
As though performing a trick
As I stand there alone feeling
Sad, exhausted, wasted, sick.

I hear voices from my past
That send my senses reeling
As I stand here trying
Not to show any feelings.
We fought for a purpose and
 I suppose achieved our ends
But that doesn't bring back
The lives of my lost friends.

I'll never forget
That bland smiling face
That haunts me still from
That other time, other place.
We catch each other's eye
At the end of this long day;
He gives me a little nod
As they drive him away.

The handshake, used
At conflict's end
As old enemy supposedly
Becomes ally and friend.







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