Iowa Writes

A Trip to Derry, 1971

Through the car window a child's eyes wandered,
Upon a coarse fabric of clouded objectives,
On graffitied ciphers of battling coalitions,
On Londonderry—
Whose cracked walls bridge two worlds
Where only Hermes can slip in and out,
Guiding the lost to their afterward.

Her ears stung
As the city echoed—a living chorus;
Burning cocktails whose flames licked their lips, 
Sizzling tar gnashing at the Bogside,
The rhythmic chew of tank tread,
And murderous proclamations from children.
God's children.

A year later she held the headlines in her hands.
Where thirteen lay on the streets her eyes had wandered,
Warm bodies, crimson-gilded,
The Red Hands of Ulster—outstretched,
Awaiting the comforting grasp of Hermes,
To slip amongst the cracks.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting


Aidan O'Driscoll has been an editor and contributor at The Knight Errant of Benilde-St. Margaret's, and is currently a second-year student at Luther College studying English and Communications. He has deep interests in travel, soccer, and literature. Through reading and the inspiration of his professors, he has developed an appreciation and passion for writing.

This page was first displayed
on March 24, 2017

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