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Comfort Station

A witness has said that you raped women

And brought them to the barracks to be used by the Japs.

 

I organised a brothel for the soldiers

And went there myself.

 

Were the women willing to go ?

Some were willing, some not.

 

How many were there ? Six.

How many were forced? Five.

 

Why were they chosen?

They were daughters of men who attacked us.

 

Then they were punished for the deeds of their fathers?

Yes.

 

How long were they kept? Eight months.

How many used them? Twenty five.

 

Did they bathe between the rapes?

They were lined up in threes and the twenty five soldiers

 

Mentioned above charged them with bayonets,

Killing three at a time.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

was born in 1950 to Catholic parents in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her poem 'The Flitting', published under a male pseudonym, won the 1979 National Poetry Competition. In 1980 she won the Eric Gregory Award and her first collection, The Flower Master (1982), won the Poetry Society’s Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, and an award from the Ireland Arts Council. Her honours also include the Bass Ireland Award for Literature, the Denis Devlin Award, and the American Ireland Fund’s Literary Award. She won the Forward Prize for Best Poem for 'She Is in the Past, She Has This Grace'. She is the author most recently of the poetry collections My Love Has Fared Inland (2010) and The High Caul Cap (2013).

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