Coleraine – Gill Barr



12th June 1973

Daddy is home from work
but something very bad
has happened. A bomb
in Coleraine. It was close.
People are dead. The blast
blew his whole car around
the corner. His back wind
-screen burst intact out of
its fitting, ended up in the car.

A policeman said: You should be dead.


23rd January 2022

We are watching a Sunday night drama
that begins with a bomb. My father says
That’s not entertainment

and starts talking about Coleraine, the story I know
about the car blown round the corner, the policeman
saying You should be dead but he goes further,

tells how he stepped out of his car that day.
It was just like that he says nodding at the television,
the dust, the devastation. People were just lying there,

one old woman, they were collecting her up,
putting her in an ambulance. I saw her glasses
amongst the debris. I picked them up,

gave them to the policewoman.
It was just like that, the dust,
the devastation.

Gill Barr’s poems have appeared in Bad LiliesThe Honest Ulsterman and The New European. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Queen’s University, Belfast and appeared at the Ledbury Poetry Festival in July 2022.

2 thoughts on “Coleraine – Gill Barr

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s