Poem no. 12 Bully Boy

When I knew him in the playground, he cried easily.
Pretend games upset him;
his large eyes, luminous on the point of tears,
shone soft and bright.
But when he slipped, later,
out of uniform and nameless,
into the brutish, sweat-stained concrete cells
and played his own
thick brutal games with prisoners there,
it was the men who wept.

2 thoughts on “Poem no. 12 Bully Boy

    1. I never – NEVER – write political poems. But, by golly, this one came out in all its glory. My country (Northern Ireland) has a dark, dark history and this was a true story of a young kid I vaguely remembered in primary school (ages 4-11) who joined the police force as a teenager. A few years ago, someone told me that he ended up becoming one of the most feared men in one of the most infamous jails in NI – he beat prisoners and got confessions from them. I hate this side of my country.

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