Carl Boon


Coat of Arms of Northern Ireland 1924-1972

I need to explain to them. They must understand I was among the crowd they tried to burn that Sunday, mid-November, right after the chrysanthemums died. They have to know I was a daughter and a wife, a demon and a hurler of stones. Because I wanted everything destroyed except myself, they were correct, but being so is not a guarantee of peace. I would’ve saved the books the children like; I would’ve been abrupt with proclamations for the better. Was it the green dress, the phantom pamphlets, the Sovereign in lingerie? I’d like to come to them, but the Proddies—all they do is make a show and linger; they only do the minimum. My brother lost his arm below the elbow. My father lies in a grave, Loyalist bullets where his lungs had been. My mother paces a flat in Dublin reading Yeats and boiling eggs. The ones she doesn’t find their way to the Prince of Wales whose servants slash them on mounds of poached salmon. I’m afraid, but the alternative’s worse. Look: there are only so many bricks to conjure from the ground, only so many corners we might retreat to. I did what I did because the Nicene Creed raged inside my forearms and shoulders, because there’s something made of clover beyond this cold gray land I was raised to adore.


About the writer:
Carl Boon is the author of the full-length collection Places & Names: Poems (The Nasiona Press, 2019). His writing has appeared in many journals and magazines, including Prairie Schooner, Posit, and The Maine Review. He received his Ph.D. in Twentieth-Century American Literature from Ohio University in 2007, and currently lives in Izmir, Turkey, where he teaches courses in American culture and literature at Dokuz Eylül University.

Image: Coat of Arms of Northern Ireland 1924-1972. By free license.