I found this poem, by Colette Bryce, in a book titled “Staying Alive – real poems for unreal times”.
I have no idea why Colette wrote it, or what inspired her, neither have I made any attempt to find out; not wishing to lose the images the words have created in my own head. And for that reason I won’t share what I see when I read, either, simply leaving you to your own.
Soldier boy, dark and tall, sat for a rest
on Crumlish’s wall. Come on over.
Look at my Miraculous Medal.
Let me punch your bulletproof vest. Go on, try.
The gun on your knees is blackened metal.
Here’s the place where the bullets sleep.
Here’s the catch and here’s the trigger.
Let me look through the eye.
Soldier, you sent me for cigs but a woman
came back and threw the money in your face.
I watched you backtrack, alter, cover
your range of vision, shoulder to shoulder.
I will, however, say that it leaves me feeling unsettled and with an uncomfortable hollow ache in my chest.