Identification In Belfast by Robert Lowell
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 blondeâ€”
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 stopâ€”you cling to anythingâ€”
I couldn't believe I couldn't light one matchâ€”
only joke matches... Then I knew he was Richard.'