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A Schoolboy's Face

A poem from Newry writer, Sean Maguire. 

A bandaged skull, matched black and 
blue eyes. 
Twelve years of sleeping, beneath 
night-time skies. 
A young life, silenced by a squaddie's gun;
that fatal shot shrouded the midday 
sun. 
No more cinema days, cheering
cowboys on the big screen, 
devouring bags of sweets, with 
vanilla ice cream. 
The end of street corner games, 
and visits to the park. 
Time called on hiding behind blinds
 to watch riots in the dark. 
Sometimes, I wake at night, 
we face each other in a street, long
since gone. 
You are still twelve years old, with 
pale white skin; 
wrapped in a mortuary sheet. 
My name is called,
I reach out for a final embrace. 
I wake screaming, my hands stroking,    
a dead boy’s face. 

➽Seán Maguire has been writing poetry, song lyrics, short stories and non-fiction for over thirty years and has had a considerable amount of his work published in magazines, newspapers, anthologies and online blogs. The above poem is taken from his collection For Those Left Behind.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

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