By Colette Bryce
I was born between the Creggan and the Bogside
to the sounds of crowds and smashing glass,
by the river Foyle with its suicides and rip tides.
I thought that city was nothing less
than the whole and rain-domed universe.
A teacher’s daughter, I was one of nine
faces afloat in the looking-glass
fixed in the hall, but which was mine?
I wasn’t ever sure.
We walked to school, linked hand in hand
in twos and threes like paper dolls.
I slowly grew to understand
the way the grey Cathedral cast
its shadow on our learning, cool,
as sunlight crept from east to west.
The adult world had tumbled into hell
from where it wouldn’t find its way
for thirty years. The local priest
played Elvis tunes and made us pray
for starving children, and for peace,
and lastly for ‘The King’. At mass we’d chant
hypnotically, Hail Holy Queen,
mother of mercy; sing to Saint
Columba of his Small oak grove, O Derry mine.
My Monday involved a lot of chores, though also a lot of ancestry research and correspondence with overseas relatives I didn't know I had three days ago, so that was a delight. I also managed to break the elastic on my Taylor Swift Super Bowl friendship bracelet, so I had to restring it before I put it in with the concert and movie bracelets.
We started watching Derry Girls, which is hilarious and touching, centered on friends at a Catholic school and their families with the Troubles always in the background. The performances and the music are fantastic. Here are some photos Paul took yesterday of spring coming to Marymoor Park; I was holding my phone to chat with Adam.