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,
a fire somewhere,
and batons...swoosh here, smash there
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.'