If I thought I knew what it meant to be Catholic in Belfast (because I’m Irish Catholic, because I’d researched, because I followed politics), if I thought I knew, I was awakened by the men staring hard at us, by feeling safe on one side of the wall and clawing anxiety on the other. Mostly, by the graffiti, “Kill All Taigs” and by my sister’s voice saying my name, curly hair around her face. Dusk was gathering quickly, but not too dark yet to see the men staring. Not too dark to see her eyes, wide and deep and fear-shocked.
Maria van den Bosch lives, writes, and works as a French and literacy tutor in Alberta, Canada.