Farewell To Pripyat

Tim Dennehy

It was a Friday in April 1986,
The day that the nightmare began,
When the dust it rained down on our buildings and streets,
And entered our bedrooms at noon,
Touched the grass and the streets, bicycles, cars,
Beds books and picture frames too,
We stood around, helpless, confused,
Nobody knew what to do.

At two o’clock on Sunday the buses arrived,
A fleet of a thousand or more,
We were ordered to be on our way,
Not knowing what lay in store,
Some of our citizens fled in dismay,
And looked for a good place to hide,
Four o’clock came and the last bus pulled out,
T’was the day our lovely town died.

And the shirts sheets and handkerchiefs crack in the wind,
On the window ledge the withering plants,
And the Ladas and Volga’s are parked by the door,
And the bike’s in its usual stance.

Our evergreen trees lie withered and drooped,
They’ve poisoned our fertile land,
The streets speak a deafening silence,
Nothing stirs but the sand.

A visit back home is so eerie today,
A modern Pompeii on view,
To see all the old shops and the Forest Hotel,
And the Promyet Cinema too.
The mementos we gathered were all left behind,
Our Photos, letters and cards,
The toys of our children untouchable now,
Toy soldiers left standing on guard.

So fare thee well Pripyat, my home and my soul,
Your sorrow can know no relief,
A terrifying glimpse of the future you show,
Your children all scattered like geese,
The clothes line still sways but the owners long gone,
As the nomadic era returns,
The question in black and white blurred into grey,
The answer is too easy to learn.

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Late one night during The Willie Week we were gathered in the back lounge of Malones hostelry.Porter and songs were flying in all direction with tunes for diversion. Mrs Malone,God rest her,put down the pan and started to fry up fresh fillets of mackerel whilst fresh white bread was buttered.Never tasted anything so good. Then there followed a lull amongst the late drinkers.Tim Dennehy quietly slipped into this song (which he had just penned).It was a sad song to hear..