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Eating Children For Breakfast.

My father clad in number eights
Dug his own drain from the Nissen Hut
Five miles inside a land fit for heroes.
Still in my perambulator
Offspring of the occupation
I like most creatures was a bonny babe
And deserving of more than ration books allowed.
An extra egg
A rasher of bacon
And these from the farm down the the track
Residence of Irelands most wanted terrorist
And the papers tell me
They eat children for breakfast.

Now I am nearly six feet tall,
Ugly, middle aged and running to fat.
I would have been shorter and leaner
If not for the IRA, the welfare state
And my mother’s obsession with fresh food.

And I read about the villains in the papers
And I hear the voices of actors
Speaking the words of monsters on the television and radio
And every image tells me
They are still eating children for breakfast
While reasonable men in clerical grey suits and public school accents
Try to persuade black haired people
To accept a multi-national police force
Thousands of miles away.

Where are the powder blue berets in Belfast and Derry?
Where is the safe haven for the people who fed me in my cradle?
Why can’t I hear their voices?
Why can’t I hear their voices?
Why can’t I hear their voices?
All is in translation.
The scream has been amputated from the source.
It’s like we cannot be trusted with reality.
It’s like this fragile truth can only be handled by bankers and politicians,
Men who live in the harsh world of international luxury.
It’s like the facts must be left to cool before they are defused
While my father dressed for the country digs his vegetables
And waits for a minor operation
In a land where the heroes are made in Hollywood
And the welfare state is disappearing
As fast as the rule of law he clings to
While others eat children
For breakfast, dinner, tea and supper.

Written in the late nineteen eighties.
Now in the 21 st Century it’s the same
situation, different location.