Lessons in complexity

This entry is part 18 of 19 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Spring 2015


If the character had told the hungry children
they must earn their keep by begging in the streets,

if she had sold them surreptitiously
to the recruiter who wanted to know if they

were virgins; if the trail of bread or pebbles
shining in the moonlight was replaced

by coils of concertina wire, and the house
of sugar dreams boiled down into a soup

of rubber sap and insect wings— There’d be
no chance to buy time with a chicken bone

held up between the slats of a cage. Only the fire
would be a constant, a raging eager to be fed.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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