Image from BBC
Imagine yourself on the phone to your sister
who knows she is going to die.
Imagine your neighbour and your neighbour’s children
pressed against their window hoping against hope.
Picture your father fighting to breathe
as the smoke that fills his lungs half blinds him.
Imagine the mother who must choose for her infant
between certain and probable death.
Now picture the scene as the businessmen gather.
Imagine what they said to each other.
Imagine their smooth, untroubled faces.
Picture their pink and white manicured hands.
Imagine for a moment they knew what they were doing.
Imagine that it adds up to murder.
Picture how the truth might look.
I wonder if you can.
Image by David Rowland
I remember the day the tied went out,
with my toes in shifting sand,
the day we walked by the restless sea
with our backs to the huddling town:
when the salt breeze lifted up your hair
and I failed to understand
that, on this day, the sky would fall
and the stars flee underground.
We strolled from crop to rocky crop
across the sun-streaked shore,
and laid our fleeting tracks of time
where none had been before;
and I called to you above the wind
but it chanced that you did not hear;
for you turned your steps towards the waves
and I was left standing there.
Perhaps it was the sea’s complaint
that rose and fell in your head;
perhaps, it wasn’t me at all,
nothing I did or said.
I like to think you didn’t know,
that it took you by surprise,
the day you shook the heavens
till the stars fell from the skies.
Abigail Elizabeth Ottley (previously Wyatt)