Protest At An American Petrol Station

The sky was that hazy grey you get
right after bonfire night; a chemical vat.
Riot police had already assembled 
by the time we arrived.
My uncle and I, and my girlfriend at the time
had travelled from Waterford to
Shannon airport, the Great American 
Petrol Station, a pit stop for planes
on their merry way to war,
to Baghdad (Kabul was still in the sun) and
places the world had yet to hear of
but which soon would be famous
for dead fogs and lost limbs.

After a Woody Guthrie number
we all linked arms and refused
to be moved
by anything save the music
so the guards in their black robes
began toward us, slow at first, then
rushing quick! bottles flying, 
cutting,
a fire somewhere,
and batons...swoosh here, smash there
Crack!
I hear my girlfriend scream
my girlfriend bloodied beyond
the curtains of my own wet hair
and me asking journalists
if they knew where my uncle was
even though they didn't know him.

I feel like crying I'm so afraid,
my girlfriend is stronger,
deadpan we pace away
faster than light and nearly as heavy.

Finally we come to rest 
her steady voice
in my ear as she speaks
so strong, so old for her age

'You shouldn't have pissed on the paddywagon.'

◄ When Bees Make Honey In A Goat's Skull

Pantoum For Near Death ►

Comments

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kealan coady

Wed 15th Nov 2017 12:30

Thanks man, much appreciated. And I'm always called the voice of reason. Which is weird because my life can be unreasonable at the best of times.

Big Sal

Tue 14th Nov 2017 18:35

Sad and funny at the same time that poets ALWAYS have to be the voice of reason. Great poem.

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