I.M. of Brian Smyth

My eyes well up with tears
remembering April 1972, Brian
Smyth, 24 and 48 hour gunbattles.
His big red hand reaching across
that hedgerow dragging me out
of that gun-battle where I froze
to the spot with fear and pissed myself.
The last Image I have of him
is throwing me over fences
To get me home and at my front door
I turned to see him shot dead on the road.

From that moment on bullets like
syllables have splattered my pages
So all these words are for you.
We forget sometimes that we lived
a refugee life. I am sitting here
in 2011 remembering a big red hand,

deep in the slithers of shellshock.
Just an innocent boy and an innocent man
frozen into this and that moment,
I must have looked like I was dragged
through a hedge backwards.

The Hedge