Derry

Sure-footed pride
Sauntering in deep-rooted humility
Derry, you are soft in the soft hours
A maiden unfurling her mane.

Soft as the Donegal burr
Steeped in a splinter more fire
Forever the underdog
Sister to the oppressed
Yet you somehow tread
In grace.

Derry they had to call you stroke city
Derry-stroke-Londonderry
Because you hold too much
Too many
Stories
To be contained
In just one name.

Derry, you are Martin McGuinness
The uniform consensus
Can’t decide
What to make of you either
But no matter what they call you
You will still stretch
Your hands across the divide

Even if
You never manage to meet.

Derry, no wise man
Would ever mess
With one of your women
Because just like you they somehow
Despite it all
Are warriors
Who know
Their worth.

Your quick-witted irreverence
Self-contained
And unwilling to show the world
Just what you have to give
Defences of a walled city
Derry, you are hard in the hard hours
But your generosity
Will always
Live.

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