Barcelona 1936

Barcelona 1936
Hugo Dewar (1908-1980)

WOKE one bright morning – not so long ago –
heard the sound of shooting from the street below.
Went to the window and saw the barricade
of paving stones the workingmen had made – not so long ago.

Met a man that morning – not so long ago –
handed me a leaflet, on the street below.
Lean and hard-faced workingman with a close cropped head –
held me for a moment eye-to-eye, then said:
Read it, read it, read it, and learn what it is we fight for, why the
churches burn.

Down on the Ramblas, she passed me on her way,
weapon cradled in her arm – it was but yesterday.
Not just for wages now, not alone for bread –
we’re fighting for a whole new world, a whole new world, she said.

On the barricades all over town – not so long ago –
they knew the time had come to answer with a simple yes or no.
They too were storming heaven – do you think they fought in vain;
that because they lost a battle they would never rise again;
that the man with the leaflets, the woman with a gun,
did not have a daughter, did not have a son?

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