Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Sins of the Children by Emma Tobin

The mute, mothball shrieks of children dying under mother’s hands
And the fractal bursts of fractured light that hit
As the world tumbles over itself, leaving vague moments...
Like fingernails between the stones

While we, like disapproving books on dusty shelves
Clasp coffee cups against the precious beating of our hearts
Toss cynicism between one another, each drop of sweat a privilege
Each breath a human right

Stuffed straw mouths and shining hair
Religious freedom weighs more than dead children
Leaving corpses littered like cigarettes
Colours in a twisted dream of heaven

Matchstick ribs jutting, but we stood on the moon
How fragile have we made our one,
short and common life? How easily
our complacency is bought.

And in the dull light of big- mooned skies
Ragged lines of blood stutter down, rough
touches underneath a fluorescent fire. Severed
heads belching, toddlers left for flies.

In empty houses seashells wait for pudgy fingers
now bludgeoned shades of navy blue. And
our tots writhe on the warehouse floor, unable
to comprehend a world without Lego.

These shells will not creak in a gruff wind
Stretched lopsided over an imagined territory
An imagined safety, an imagined,
tender world.

Copyright: Emma Tobin (age 17)
September 2014

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