Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Letter to Ireland

A Letter to Ireland

Ireland,
the world doesn't know
of the divisions in Belfast,

of your walls
of concrete and brick,
ribbed thick metal and razor wire,
anti-climb paint on tri-prong picket tops,

of your black, solid-steel gates
closed fast every night
holding in hearts
as much as holding out assassins,

of barriers assaulted
by rocks, stones, and broken concrete shards,
by bottles of gasoline
with flaming rag fuses
flung by garbage bag slings,
of any garbage handy,
even a scuffed filthy mannequin
flung over to a church yard
as an incongruous missile of hate.

The world doesn't know
of the centuries old fight,
where even language and names
are not spared,
where Derry/Londonderry,
that proud old town
has come to be called,
“Slash.”

Outsiders don't know
of the invisible interfaces
which snake across the land
immutably dividing
republican-catholic
from
loyalist-protestant
in otherwise suburban and rural
quaint countryside.

When will your walls fall?
Will they chip away
in the wind and rain?
Will the graffiti covered blankness
be knocked down
by celebrating crowds?
Will the demarcations outlast
their physical selves?

How many generations
of your children will grow up
stunted by misunderstanding and fear?
When will no one care
the religious and cultural affiliation
of their neighbors?

When will you hear
the whispering of the dead
to let love drive out hate?




Copyright 2012
Rodney L. Aldrich

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