‘Mc Lucas’ © Joe Canning 2015. All Rights Reserved.

He had a smoking pipe in his left hand, always;
It was his companion, his comfort, his solace.
A tap against the wall expelled it’s spent content.
Black grey ash desecrated the whitewash as it fell.
It fertilised the hungry geranium bed below.
He hated loud noises. Mc Lucas, survivor of the Somme.

Twitchy arms rested on his paint flaking half-door.
Elbow patches prevented his redundant tunic from fraying.
He fought for a broken promise; it made him angry. Bitter.
Returning to his village, he found his brothers would not.
Good Donegal men, lost forever, fodder in a soggy Flanders field.
Brave young men sacrificed to a British lie.” Home rule my arse”!

Dan hated toy guns; all guns,”tools of the devil” he called them.
“Instruments that instil butchery and madness in a child”.
He told my father that in no uncertain terms one Christmas morning.
“No need for those damned things in this world” he said, no bloody need”!
He sipped a comforting Powers whisky in our house, his sentiments flowed.
Da gave him a top up before he retreated, perturbed, to his own world; buoyed.

He marched to his church on a Sunday, regimentally destroyed.
Hard liners gave him a hard time but they were no heroes.
Hard liners derided a man ten of their number could never emulate,
Fireside heroes that never dodged a bullet nor the maiming shell.
They laughed at Dan, a true hero, giggled, at his fear of a bag bursting
Jesus Christ, I laughed at his terror with them. May God forgive me.

Photo: The memorial to the 16th Irish Division is located next to Wytschaete Military Cemetery, Belgium

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

‘Mc Lucas’
© Joe Canning 2015. All Rights Reserved.

He had a smoking pipe in his left hand, always;
It was his companion, his comfort, his solace.
A tap against the wall expelled it’s spent content.
Black grey ash desecrated the whitewash as it fell.
It fertilised the hungry geranium bed below.
He hated loud noises. Mc Lucas, survivor of the Somme.

Twitchy arms rested on his paint flaking half-door.
Elbow patches prevented his redundant tunic from fraying.
He fought for a broken promise; it made him angry. Bitter.
Returning to his village, he found his brothers would not.
Good Donegal men, lost forever, fodder in a soggy Flanders field.
Brave young men sacrificed to a British lie.” Home rule my arse”!

Dan hated toy guns; all guns,”tools of the devil” he called them.
“Instruments that instil butchery and madness in a child”.
He told my father that in no…

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