Lament for Jean McConville (b.1934 Belfast d. 1972)


Cry, city cry, at the story of your Jean
at the orphaning of children;
not for Palestine, or the Holcaust
not for the mothers of Syria
or the children of Iraq
but cry for your own generations and your lore
cry for each August, for your clockwork men
for the ghostly whistles and the beating drum
for the mascots and the trophies
the obscenities of your city walls
your whispering communities
and the ugliness of your broken streets.

Cry, politicians in your hollow assemblies,
cry, men of god in your pulpits and your confessionals
for yourselves and for yours
for the hatred in your cellars
the guns in your parlours
the balaclavas in your sideboards,
bullets in your kitchen drawer.

Cry, city cry for the bones of an innocent woman
for the earth that cherished her
and that finally gave her up.

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