A poem by Sven Kretzschmar.

The sit-in protesters of North Circular Road
took their seats just when the word came around
of the government spying on you and fellow artists
for inadequate subordination to this green-great country.
Brothers and sisters of basic dignity unclad

in the lack of rebellious red, some in everyday clothes,
others wearing reflective vests showing
they wanted leaders and forces to reflect on the evil
carried out by and to speak up against thuggish actions,
illegal evictions brought forth against brothers and sisters

paying their rent, and others criticising Direct Provision.
You sat to demand basic dignity, on the pavement’s grey
by a Garda station. Hold a creaking system
to account. Department of Justice officials, FFG
profiteers: direct providers of slum accommodation

on the brink of being ousted. Would they consider
seeking refuge in Syria or Belarus?
Would they dare living in their own estates?
Deaf-eared they would not listen, refused to consider
a better moral position, and sought refuge only

at a dinner party in the Station House ordering lobster,
champagne, and the monitoring of upright citizens
by their Golf Society servants, likely feeling
like being Ireland’s Deep State; a sheer necessity
against those sitting upright on the pavement’s grey.

For Dave Lordan; after Christina Hession.

Sven Kretzschmar is a German poet writing in English. His work has been published widely in Europe and overseas. He is a Medical Ethics specialist with degrees from Saarland University, Germany, the University of Luxembourg, and University College Dublin, who has formerly worked as the coordinator of the European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies in Leuven, Belgium. Follow him on Instagram @sven_saar_poetry.

Top image: Illustration by David Kovaluk/St Louis Public Radio.

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