Haibun for the Disappeared

 

My brothers were silenced when they spoke against the ones who came 
into our villages, searching for anyone they could blame for the dictator's
latest obsessions. Every cul-de-sac grew tufts of blood-stained grass, asterisks
of coiled wire, moats where we could see the last shape their bodies held,
seizing and exhaling stars. Night after feverish night I push needle and thread
through pieces of linen, cutting holes for sleeves and openings for the neck
and head. I dream about how each will wear these shirts at the next
threshing festival and dance in the square with a girl. But my fingers
tear out the seams, start over again, despairing of getting it right. 
Everyone hides in their huts at sundown. Rifles march in the streets.

The moon rises and the sound
of wings fills the window--- my voice
a shroud I throw into the sky.


 

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