Bloody Sunday Handkerchief

By Catherine Galvin, 6th year.

Object No 97. Bloody Sunday Handkerchief
Museum of Free Derry

There is only the ripple of the flag
as we fall in our flight.

Eons of agony have 
finally been recognised,
yet, our pained past
cannot triumph on this
unfortunate finale.

I stand and salute to my safety,
raising my beaten hand high 
above the blackened bruises,
spitting in the face that has
haunted our hopes.

A starched white signal was all 
it took for surrender,
yet, as I stare around at the shattered, 
all I see are fragile, empty men
with only death’s hand to hold.

Crimson black floods our green
and we are lost to a sea of sadness 
where oars and rafts lay barren,
and wives weep over fallen brothers
and lost sons.

I plea as they pry me apart.
My spirit splinters as they
shatter our sacred white surrender
and march forth to slaughter
more selfless soldiers.

The flag stands as we fall,
holding firm against foes.

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