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.
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?
I'll never live up to.
© Copyright 2016 Mathew Nicolson. All rights reserved.