The October* night was dank and dark,
My footsteps clung to wet pavements.
The road to home was a weary walk,
A city centre deserted in nervousness.
Uncertainty prowled around all corners,
Randomness was the motive of choice.
Madmen and mad people loved murder,
Belfast was gripped within this evilness.
In an unforgettable instant death lurked,
The night exploded all around and about.
Layers of orange light enveloped the area,
Silence locked down thoughts of life itself.
Fine glittering fragments cascaded down,
An open bible fluttered on the wet footpath.
Its owner rushed to seek comfort from me,
Assuming this hellish scene was not heaven.
The grim realities of wishful ideologies tolled,
A premature detonation killed three cowards.
Their deed undone by bravado and bad timing,
Actions remembered in the statistics of history.
Excuses mimicked as passionate causes to repair,
Innocent victims fell wherever luck had led them.
Memories will forever rest upon that happening,
Heroes and cowards separated by conscious acts.
©Copyright Eileen T O’Neill 03/12/2014
Poets United Mid-Week Motif: ‘ A Date that will Live in Infamy, or A Bomb of a Day.’
*Saturday 16 October 1976
Three members of the IRA were killed when a bomb they were planting exploded prematurely at Belfast Gas Works, Ormeau Road, Belfast.