Dawn

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Inspired by the photos in this collection.

Toes down, scuffing,
the half-walk, half-carry of
the dawn doomed.
The carriers huffing,
with straining curses
wrist under arm, between
arm, down to The Place.
Sunlight is peeking
through these bloody hills
and streams like a white dust
amongst the trees.
Picturesque and beautiful
for this ugliness
as the boots judder
onwards sullenly
and buck against
the tree roots for the
sake of resistance.

Up and up past the chicken
wire.  Hairy string, tight
against bleaching skin,
tied behind cruelly;
a shuddering hunch of a back
buried in the dirty coarseness of
the square-shouldered
coat.

A quiet sobbing, mutters,
regrets, toes down, scuffing.
Legs idling and too weak with
fear to support even this
sad sack of humanity.

Rough hands push back towards
the post and bend wires against
and through rings.  Pulled
erect but sagging against
restraint.  Humble tears drip
weakly, and a croaky whispering
begins.  Futility.  Humility.
“I was just scared Lord, so so
scared”.
Blurry arms are raised and
point for his last time.
Brutality is a noisy bang
that makes the morning birds
jump from their perches.
Two shots and he slumps
towards the ground against
the pain; and the dirty square
coat starts to slowly darken
and stain.
Quieter now, rasping:
“I was just, scared”,
then, laboured: “so so
scared”.

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