Friday, 6 February 2015

The Soldier's Peace

Where did this come from? Today I was making buckwheat bread (one of my wheat substitutes) when I remembered a childhood conversation with my mother, when I was curious about griddle bread, and she mentioned a mountainous place where an aunt of mine lived and griddle bread was possibly still enjoyed. (Griddle bread was a traditional flat bread made with flour and water only and cooked on a griddle or flat pan. Mother said I woulld not like it and it had  been almost universally replaced by soda bread, a leavened bread. Of course, flat bread has since then made a come-back in imported versions, like pitta bread). This aunt had "run away with the circus" and become cut off from the rest of the family. It was only years later that I discovered that "running away with the circus" really meant her husband had taken the other side in the Civil War of 1922. A hero of his own side, by all accounts the ghosts of the war haunted him for the rest of his life, and he gave his wife and children a hard time.

The terrible deeds of the soldier
Haunt his peaceful days.
His war is never over;
Inside his demons rage.

O, trigger not his anger
With a glance or sly remark.
Tread softly, softly, round him,
Lest you light his spark.

He fought for Ireland's glory
And now must face each day
In toil upon the rocks of Bawn,
As his dream ebbs, ebbs, away.

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