30 July 2007

Smiles Like Ice Daggers


It hardly matters now, the moment’s past
and the jagged heart beat has stabilised; it
seems just a blur on a backward horizon – no
last gasp to requite, no confession to tender.

But you were there; what happened was not
an Act III replay of sheer, numbing passion –
not an isolated incident, it was pay-back day
when chance presented itself in innocence.

Their bodies lay with the mine they planted
near the roadway. Death lent them an air of
childlike grace – too young to grow beards but
they’d have blasted us to pieces anyway.

We passed their ragged betrayers, smiles like
ice daggers in the heat, they gave thumbs up
meant to say thanks, ran to rob corpses before
other robbers or flies could outflank them.

Don’t look back, our leader grated through
clenched teeth – make your way to the tracks.
When the first one dies from a booby trap
they’ll know where we really stand.
© 23 July 2007, I.D. Carswell