Number 87, The Fountain

Number 87, The Fountain

At a time when our neighbours once again play such an important part in our collective wellbeing I am reminded of my early childhood in Derry/Londonderry.  The photograph was taken in my grandparents’ back yard (1957):

Number 87, The Fountain

The snib string was pushed through grandfather’s door

Well-worn by the tug of neighbours’ hands-

Let out during the day, pulled in at night.

Hefted children, weans, keen to explore

“No going to the Bog Side or Creggan”

“No cheeking old man Walker- he’s not right”

Tribal childcare, fed wherever we were

Never any trouble: “we know your ma”.

And god knew everything we were thinking-

Even before we did. We were wary.

Found places that were under the radar

Feral. Until the string was pulled in.

We snook over to see Derry City

“Avert your eyes from the graven imagery!”

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