Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)
TITLE: Crossing at the bridge
By Helen Paynter
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There is a public death, a sort of
sport, with human quarry
hunted down by beasts.
It came to us, that fevered spring, spraying off
machete blades like ripe fruit
It came, long feared, as bloody daylight
stained the east. We stumbled
from uneasy sleep and fled.
We fled – the strong, the fast – bruising scrub-grass
with our scrabbling feet. Behind us lay
the weak, multiplied in death.
We reached the bridge – the strand of hope
that looped above the frenzied water;
aiming to thread ourselves across
They cut us off.
They cut us off, and sunlight stabbed,
flashing from wielded steel.
Corpse-stifled, I, enditched alive;
the piles of dead still rank
with sweat and fear.
I watched them cross – my mother,
brother; fifty merry mothers, a hundred
I watched them cross from life to death,
and only I remained.
Lest we forget
Dedicated to all the victims of genocide past, present - and future.
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