Running Down The Strand in 1976 (poem)

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By Colin Clark (thanks Colin)

Running Down The Strand in 1976.

Twas Christmas time in ‘Derry town
The season of good will.
When normal folks went shopping
And the baddies came to kill.
They hid their nasty firebombs
With timers crudely set
As if more killing might ensure
Their demands would be met.
Headquarters called to warn us,
‘Get people off the street!’
Our task: to clear the Strand Road
And start from Clarendon Street
My buddies ran beside me
You’d think us bulletproof
For we knew there could be gunmen
Who’d be sniping from the roof.
Civilians ran before us
We herded them like sheep.
We had to get them out there
For now all life was cheap.
Shop windows blew out left and right
All flame and flying glass
I prayed the next explosion would
Please wait ‘til we had passed

We pushed them; screaming, shouting.
Our faces could not show
How bloody scared we were inside,
But none of them would know.
But even then, some turned on us,
Spat, “Leave our kids alone!
We’ll never ask for English help.
F#‪#‎k‬ off. Leave us alone!”
But still we got them to the end.
Thank God no lives were lost.
But many shops and jobs went up
In this home grown holocaust.
And now, when many years have passed
Just one thing stays the same.
If it was ever church or politics then,
The criminals remain!
And still they kill and torture
Their neighbors’ ‘cross the street.
But justice comes to all of them,
When their Maker, they do meet.
A Guard of Honour waits for them,
of innocents and Troops,
To bar their way to the Pearly Gates.
They can take the downward route!
 

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