A City Stunned to Silence 


On 15th April 1989 I was working in shop at the Albert Dock. My boyfriend met me after work. We walked numbly through the empty city centre. There were a few people openly crying in the unusually quiet, abandoned streets. When I got home I wrote this. I’ve just shared it with my sons.

 

A City Stunned to Silence

The city has been stunned to a silence.

And as the police pace the floor,

For an excuse to ease their conscience.

Thousands pace the Anfield ground

In misery.

 

And as the old man with his stick,

A supporter from his youth,

Breaks down and cries outside The Arkles

The enquiries break down the events

To reveal already apparent reasons.

 

Ninety four,

God, the injustice of it.

The injustice that the team

With the larger following, should have,

The least tickets,

And the smaller end.

 

Kids, strapping lads and girls,

I might have stood next to them at Anfield,

Shared in their ecstasy,

When the ball punched the back of the net,

Have had the breath pushed out of them,

By a force,

Let in by a force

Not as a favour

But as a cop out.

 

Preventing trouble outside the ground

By pushing it in.

 

And now, as a nation

Of supporters stand shocked,

The issue of ID cards

Stands in parliament.

We wonder what identification

They labelled the supporters with before Saturday

And what identity do they now have

With the mourners

And the numb

And a city stunned to silence?

 

15th April 1989

 

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