Image © Copyright Amy Charles Media 2014

23 May 2015

Dublin I: #JeSuisCharlie

Gifts for a sibling
stuffed in a suitcase;
a weekend's wardrobe
packed to the brim:

Liz Earle skin care,
Marmite and Prosecco,
a box of Cadbury's Creme Eggs;

all battling for space
beside a paisley smoking jacket,
a poetry Moleskine,
a range of Fred Perrys
and a Blyth Spartans scarf.

All eyes locked on the two screens above,
in the Departure Lounge of Manchester.
A shuffling list of destinations,
statuses and instructions, or

Blue sirens, on
White vans, on
Red alert.

sweeps sadistic clickers.
Sky News projecting Hollywood,
the Parisian pout flickers;
all widened eyes and cries of panic.

No puffed out chest of Cantona,
or chorus of 'Les Marseillaise';
only stunned silence,
sirens, hysterics;
all awaiting orders,
just like the rest of us.

France: it's your turn.
And which on the list
on the Departure boards
is next?

Who's cool hand is dealt
a cruel twist of fate?

£3.99 for a 50p pen
from WH Smith.
£4.40 for a £2 pint
from the bar upstairs
(the curses of a fraudulent scribe).

I seek escape
in Division Street
by Helen Mort.
Both comforting
and intimidating
in equal measure
(the verses of a latter-day laureate).

I read 'Scab' three times.

A huff and a snarl
as an irksome stag do
chants like a terrace
in the middle of the bar.

A hostage's face
contorted and sobbing;
sat frozen with fear
amongst Jewish groceries.

How lucky I am
that events on that screen
are completely foreign
and do not affect me.

A final swig (which cost a quid)
then down towards Gate 7.
Flight EI122 to Dublin
delayed just over an hour.

The plane that's due:
en route from Paris.
Two runways at Charles de Gaulle
captured by chaos.

Notes swiftly taken,
Moleskine well thumbed;
I'm ready for my Emerald escape.

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