In the dark places of the mind I hear you there,
Along the twisted paths of memory,
Forced to relive the moments that brought us here.
Your whispers echo along with my guilt a burden of childhood’s bitter pill.
The first curse a boy fifteen to sixteen summers, the streets paved with ice,
Roads treacherous, playground became an ice rink, bags toppled first years.
You ran for the lights, I was two feet away you slipped and went under the wheels of a bus.
Only a school assembly marked your passing and life returned to normal,
Not for I… You haunted me accused me of not saving you.
The moment Glacial, frozen I repeat it over and over,
The outcome still the same.
The second curse a childhood trauma dismissed as the delusions of a phantasm,
An overactive mind, there are places I no longer wander for fear of reflection;
I am scared of what lurks in darkened corners..
Rough hands dragged a young boy from the playground….
I wake at night the shades watching me
As guilt gnaws at me with sharpened teeth
Seeking the marrow of my soul
I’d cry myself to sleep but the tears sting too much.
The third curse a bloodied breeze block dropped in a ruined, blasted landscape,
Here a boy his colours the same as my own had been beaten close to death,
His life circled the drain somehow the spark lingered….coma.
I used to walk home that way it could have been me.
The fourth curse an axe wielded by hate chopped at your husband left him
for dead protestant and catholic stood shoulder to shoulder in solidarity.
We guarded your front door while you waited for word,
life or death we were there for you, you who sought an end to violence.
The fifth curse was a horrible fate you had such vitality my aunt,
cared for me when we were homeless, survived the shankill bomb.
Cancer caught you, you faded away, operations and chemo all took their toll.
Faith healers claimed to heal you I took your children out,
you passed while we where gone.
The sixth curse was five years ago an old friend we were in hospital the same time,
You gaunt skeletal I watched as you wasted away your immune system destroyed,
your family never seemed to visit I listened as you drowned and thought of Madonna
Sixth form prefect duties and resits.
These haunt me still from moment to moment I find their cries upon the wind.
Time is cruel and plays tricks, my mind momentarily steps into the past.
I relive the choices, find myself powerless before them.
These are my silent whispers doomed to walk with me forever more.
By Amos Greig