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Belfast, 1978

A boy, blond with a dimple
on his left cheek; arms apart,
a rock in his dirty left hand.

Welcome
say mocking eyes;
this life and home,
the source of all Troubles.

Behind him, standing rigid
above the pavement,
two figures angled forward,
printed black against
a pale yellow scene:
school crossing.

In the middle of the street,
along the crosswalk,
tires and plywood stacked up high;
a barricade pile,
doused in gasoline
and set aflame.

A sacrifice to god
from those who proclaim
his true name and nation.

A lesson in history,
taken to the streets
and brought to life
through the smell
of burning rubber mixed
with the jeers and cries
of mothers, soldiers and children.

Welcome
says the boy
with mocking eyes;
grinning with open arms,
thick, billowing smoke
rising above his head.

Nicole Kiester Belfast, 1978 Mixed media

Nicole Kiester
Belfast, 1978
Mixed media

Xuanjia Zeng The Boy With The Mocking Eyes Oil paint and clay

Xuanjia Zeng
The Boy With The Mocking Eyes
Oil paint and clay