Night of the Murdered Poets

The squalid silence of the prison is shattered; the guards’ clicking tongues unfastened for their duty. Woken by rough hands, the disorientation of broken sleep takes a few seconds to pass. Partially clothed I’m led to the basement where a sloping floor and gutter drain blood and sinew. I think of the child whose joyous laugh I take to an unmarked grave. The executioner remains in the shadows as I stare at the timber-clad wall, cold concrete beneath bare feet. The log’s grain fascinates; its coarse texture apparent in the half-light. I hear the pistol cock. Nothing more.

empty chamber …
words drain away
into history

Tim Gardiner

Night of the Murdered Poets

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