Tuesday 16 May 2023

The Fifty

by Nick Gisburne

A poison paints the words I want to say.
The prisoners were never meant to die.
We killed them all, the fifty, in a day,
But none of us, not one, remembers why.
Perhaps we never truly understood
The shameful complications of a war
Where borders, walls, between the bad, the good,
Were cracked and broken, easy to ignore.
We led them to a clearing in the corn,
Where every man and woman dug a grave.
A crow’s contempt reminded us the dawn
Could light a path to mercy, for the brave.
    But nothing in that field will ever grow.
    We killed them. Fifty bodies lie below.