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Haunting Respect

By: Mathew Nicolson

Page 1, Dedicated to anyone currently having to fight for their freedom. Not my best poem.

Even now, it is impossible to determine

which image haunts me most.

A road layered with corpses? Nothing

to the congealed blood by the pavement.

A helicopter overheard.


Cries of alarm and terror.

We fall to the sand.

No, not there yet.

Worse to come.

Perhaps being pulled by my shirt

behind a wall,

as bullets cascade above;

a chorus of deaf drums.

My neck still stiffens each morning.

Crowds scatter; more screaming.

Dust kicked up by the stampede

threatens to choke us.

That would be easy.

After firework day we go out;

astronauts on this alien surface.

A burnt out, crumbling home,

charcoaled beneath dying flames.

A family blown to bits.

Three children.

Gone now.

It is with courage and strength

that they proceed, undeterred,

to claim their freedom.

I've seen them die and I've seen them live.

What haunts me most?

The humanity

I'll never live up to.

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