It was a fledgling morning, the day we escaped.
Sirens startled us awake, united by the haste of feet,
and what signalled the sharpness of gunfire.
Hurriedly, we fled with tear in wind, and flicker in heart,
until home was but a fleck on a horizon of dust…
Doors and windows left open, but not as an invitation.
Birthday gifts half-wrapped, and remnants of the last meal
left to rot. Happiness slowly sucked into the void where
bombs were dropped the night before. Lost prayers swim in
a hollow blue sky; no saviour will protect you from these hordes.
Gold teeth left scattered on a dresser top, photo frames cracked
in rush and ruckus; lost memories and keepsakes now owned
by decay. A gust blows net curtains hastily in a room,
where comics and toys sit lonely in the still of silence.
The smell of burning and desperation pilfer the once sweet air.
…42 Years Later…
A grassy knoll sits atop this broken street of forgotten lives.
It watches things grow and die uniformly, at peace.
The roads and pavements, heavily disjointed by nature,
weep through their fractures; they long to be tended.
Like an atomic bomb test site, abandoned and bleak.
Remembrances would line walls and fill drawers,
all now marred by cracked plaster, faded paint, rusted metal.
They miss the touch of a caring hand; a forgiving heart.
A barbed wire fence clings to a fleeing summer dress;
its crimson dots, a crusty dulled russet from midsummer.
Splintered glass styles windows with weary crows-feet,
as purple goatsbeard and wild rosemary return to perfume green.
Twisted, morose – the cold, heavy mandibles that gave the orders.
Beachfront property acquired by force; now war-torn ghost towns,
left to corrode against a saline breeze; resolutely desolate.
The land has its scars; sobering tales for generations to come.
Young boys sent to battle as men, now only screams are heard
in empty rooms, on lonely beaches. Echoed faces, the curves
of a smile, now and forever imprinted on crumpled snapshots.
They grieved a memory, nothing more.
This land may forever seem lost; a victim of circumstance,
but scars never truly heal, only serve as a reminder.
The whispers grow louder with time – “When will we get our country back?”
They will never forget; they will always remember.