In the time of dictators

The older men traded stories
of wars they lived through:

how they had little to eat
but rice; and when that ran out,

salt and bananas, even the peel.
They fashioned slings and sat

on their haunches deep in the grass,
waiting for frogs, for quail, any

oily morsel that touched a talon
to the soil. The generation

immediately after them told of how
their children came of age turning

bottles to bombs, or braving
the smoke and water cannons

in the streets. Some children
were conceived during mercy

visits in jail cells. Some friends
were captured, tortured,

and killed. Past the curfew hour,
some raided the arsenal at the military

school. The rest of us moved through
the world, careful to avert our eyes.

Careful not to reveal how we listened
still to any news from underground.

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