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Identification In Belfast

 (I.
R.
A.
Bombing) The British Army now carries two rifles, one with rubber rabbit-pellets for children, the other's of course for the Provisionals.
.
.
.
'When they first showed me the boy, I thought oh good, it's not him because he's blonde— I imagine his hair was singed dark by the bomb.
He had nothing on him to identify him, except this box of joke trick matches; he liked to have them on him, even at mass.
The police were unhurried and wonderful, they let me go on trying to strike a match.
.
.
I just wouldn't stop—you cling to anything— I couldn't believe I couldn't light one match— only joke matches.
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Then I knew he was Richard.
'

Poem by Robert Lowell
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