On Brunswick Street

In the twilight of the evening on busy Brunswick Street
An ageing Turkish woman with a mister me did greet
Where abouts is Fitzroy Street? I pointed her the way
The rain came down in drizzle in the fading lamp of day.

She wore a dark blue Muslim scarf and she had a lovely smile
One perhaps in her sixties and she seemed free of guile
She asked what Land are you from are you Scottish maybe
Or more than likely Irish or so 'twould seem to me?

I said I am from Ireland she said you see I'm right
Our Countries more than eight decades back on different sides did fight
In the bloodbath at Gallipoli my grand-father he died there
And now I'm in my early sixties with greyness in my hair.

More than forty years in Australia though some of her accent she did retain
And until the Reaper claims her that with her will remain
She smiled at me and thanked me and she walked off in the rain
And I owe her for these verses though we may not meet again.

Our Countrymen once fought each other on a distant foreign shore
In the early nineteen hundreds eight decades back and more
She asked me where is Fitzroy Street and I pointed her the way
And your so called enemy of one time can be your friend today.

by Francis Duggan

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