Ross and George and Me

We tracked George Watson
to an islet in Lough Erne,
a fly-thick summer
in the early seventies; hot

wasn't the word for it,
as they say; by god,
the caravan roof was like
a glowing griddle;

inside smelled of sweat
and other odours
better not to mention. 'Jaysus'
says he, 'How did yis find us?'

'Easy', says I, 'We asked the RUC
two miles up the shore,
and they, not mindful
that we might just be

a two-man death-squad,
confirmed your alien presence.'
His wife worked hard
at looking disentangled,

but - lets face it -
conjugally speaking,
so what? And we rated macho George
because he'd taught in Aden,

seen a young Brit soldier
beheaded by steel wire
stretched across an alley
he'd had the great misfortune

to be driven down - upright and
on a canvas-covered Land Rover; which
explained to me the mystery

of the length of angle-iron
rising from the offside wing
of all those army vehicles
driven by spotty youths in deepest Belfast.