War Stories

Uncle still speaks of the little miracles: listening for frog calls at night to find rivulets of water, one dark train track made by ants leading to a bush with overripe fruit.

How they were led away at bayonet point and made to walk for days in the heat, leaving their houses behind: animals cooped in their cages, the goats now free to roam the abandoned villages.

Those that escaped hid from the moon, shining like a giant floodlight in the sky. Night, a leaf under which bodies might shelter.

And the women no one wanted to speak of then: how some of them now choose needlework, stabbing the cloth and embroidering the same dark flower that looks like a hand held over a scream, over and over again.

And I never knew mother’s mother except for the sound of her name: the name that last escaped her mother’s mouth as she lay dying in the dirt.

Watch how the grain is winnowed, how chaff flies into the air: husks of brittle armies indifferent to the small, small sound pearled bodies make when they fall, fall until they’re caught.


In response to Via Negtiva: Harvest.

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