A small girl stands amongst the flowers of Bloemfontein
surrounded by the aurora of yellow tulips
for she belongs to the angel’s now.
Her finger Points at the carpets of flowers
a reminder of lives cut short.
The glint from the sun hides her fallen friends
and a faint wind rustles the petals
forming strange whispers, the voice of many.
A wind that grows stronger everyday
and the voices gather,
speaking in tongues from around the globe.
A cry for help that falls on deaf ears,
to destroy a deadly seed that once was planted here.
And our attention will be drawn to
memories of gold and places long forgotten.
Places that were scorched back into the ground,
where peace was replaced by burning crops,
and we will feel sad for this land.
But behind all this evil a seed was born.
For its germination came when this sweet child
Lizzie Van Zyl was killed.
Once a happy child, taken from her farm
through tears, saw her house destroyed and livestock slaughtered
even her beloved dog.
Taken to sleep on the ground, slowly starved
and left to winters kill.
Her last comfort a pile of rags to die on.
Her last words “Mother, Mother, I want to go to my Mother”.
Thrown into a pit,
to join a multitude of innocents, in the name of progress.
Bloemfontein killed with deliberate neglect,
and the bullet killed her father at Ladysmith.
Another victory for empires glory
Lizzie’s crime was her fathers, for he wanted freedom,
democracy and a future for his family.
But greed and empire gave birth to new words
and historians will justify,
that War is inevitable as is the darkness of night.
And darkness can hide the ideals of men
for here the seed of evil grew
spreading over time to generations new.
A world kept secret from prying eyes.
But secrets come out and greed fuels the beast.
Bloemfontein became the mother
and her offspring were blessed in Wars name,
Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka,
Oh and so many more.
Different lands, same outcome,
an Oasis for evil.
A place where the dark side of humanity
degenerates into the primordial soup
from whence it came.
A haunting realisation too,
that England, has tarnished the code of chivalry,
and brought shame to the flag.
Little Lizzie still stands among the flowers,
her ghost is still pointing, not at the flowers
but at you and me.
For it is we who did this, and it is we who will do it again.
So glance at your wedding band
for the glint might just blind you to its past.
The price of this gold is a debt we cannot repay
and pray the voices in the wind
will one day fade away.
© Copyright 2016 steven cooke. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Other
Short Story / Historical Fiction
Short Story / War and Military
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