The Fear

Do you remember the fear, being 
young and on the beer. 
Crossing over again, for work and a 
better life. 
Blighty, the enemy that welcomed us, 
not with open arms, too much 
harm done by men with masks and 
guns. In our name? 
Shame on the fuckers. 

Never in my name! To kill, to maim. 
Never in my name. 
But still the fear. In us and in them.
The accent hidden on bus and train 
ridden into Soho or Liverpool or 
Bristol. 
To Irish enclaves. Keep your head low 
say fuck all 
until you fall in with company you know. 
The fear. Christ the fear 
of Birmingham, Guilford, 
Canary Wharf, Waterloo, Hyde Park. 

Not in my name, never in my name 
but the fear just the same. 
Being Irish, fresh of the boat. 
Are you a terrorist Mick? 
A bomber? A murderer Paddy? 
A sick fuck who blows babies 
to kingdom come? The fear. 
In their eyes and in mine 

The fear of not knowing, 
growing and spreading. 
Plague on the men on machines 
and shovels, husbands, fathers, 
lovers and jokers but all workers 
trying to make a wage and fill in 
another page 
in the story of life. 

Its over now they say, 
for those who left and those who 
stayed. 
Families grown in towns 
along the moors and dales 
English kids with Mick names 
and folks with strange Irish ways. 
Generations gifted to a foreign 
land. 

Hand in hand they walk 
with no notion of the fear 
that brought them there. 
But their Ma and Da knew it well, 
the lousy hell of fear. 
The guilt of being Irish here.

– Dave Kavanagh

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