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What They Saw (Part 1)

What they saw, that seminal liberation day, Defied, at first, all comprehension; The winding dirt road uncoiled to a clearing, Snaked to primal ordinariness, a camp, militia deserted. Static gates, fences of rust stained barbed wire, Ramshackle huts in the near distance, Flanking sentry towers and water towers attentive only to silence, For the birds were not singing. And in that silence seethed the heavy earthen burden Of graveyards after rainstorms, Of fear that gnaws in the gut, Trickles of icy blood from intestine to bowel, A silence that lies dead against the trunks of hanging trees, That dominates above the frozen fields of battle done, That rules in funerary deserts at night, That defines itself in the airless vacuum of space. What they saw, creeping-crawling dawning of envisioning, Burned branding iron snapshots on each cortical cell, As there they stood with slackened jaws, And gaping eyes, weeping denial, Conversely knowing the dread damning truth. As hands grew taut, bloodlessly white yet hot About the walnut sheen of cold carbines Gripped in fright and mourning at humanity’s supreme debase. Swaying, gentle tilt, lined behind the creaking cables, Skeleton people in malodorous pyjamas, Their own hands tapering like pale rags, Grasping the nettles of cold steel wire, Rotting mirror images of their liberators, Staring back at them with saucer eyes in skull faces, Eyes electric with black reflections, vision haunted, Of unfathomable despair, near-death dominion, inexpressible torment.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2005

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