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The Sightseers

The Sightseers

My father and mother, my brother and sister
And I, with uncle Pat, our dour best-loved uncle,
Had set out that Sunday afternoon in July
In his broken-down Ford

Not to visit some graveyard-one died of shingles,
One of fever, another’s knees turned to jelly-
But the brand-new roundabout at Ballygawley,
The first in mid-Ulster.

Uncle Pat was telling us how the B-Specials
Had stopped him one night somewhere near Ballygawley
And smashed his bicycle

And made him sing the Sash and curse the Pope of Rome.
They held a pistol so hard against his forehead
There was still the mark of an O when he got home.



Poem The Sightseers - Paul Muldoon