The songbird soars from the ebony cage,
its tune eerie, out of pitch, stark
against the dove-grey sky,
before the final note ricochets the land.
Its wings beat in clouds of ash,
like the wings of the devil,
falling with every newly shed tear.
her fight fiercer than her flight.
in sunken trenches like bodies
in newly dug graves.
We’re bombarded by pelts of dirt,
shards of metal, spatters of blood.
All falling as one.
Her song has resounded again.
The monotone bleep of the ambulance
is made bleak by her voice.
The rats have taken shelter,
no longer tearing at our flesh with minute teeth.
We barely feel them anymore,
our feet water-logged to rot,
our skin numb with itch.
She dives, soars, sings
in a constant circle,
like a vulture looking for fresh pickings.
We are vulnerable.
Our hearts flail
stuck behind our ribbed cage.
Our minds have wondered,
looking for a better place.
They have found none.
A general died today,
A friend, a lover, a brother, a father,
a forgotten face buried in an unmarked grave.