by | Jun 23, 2009 | Poetry | 0 comments

We crouch behind makeshift sandbags,
Jozsef grips a rusted shotgun,
beside us cloudy milk bottles stuffed with rags
litter the=2 0cobbles.
I finger the trigger of my Kalashnikov,
my hands trembling
in the yellow-brick shadow of the cinema,
we make a final stand.
Cobbled streets strewn with rubble,
oily black smoke stains the
late afternoon sky,
the low winter sun fades.
Bodies lie awkwardly,
some burnt,
some shattered,
occasional khaki tatters
stained=2 0crimson by
death’s blooms
catch my eye.
In the distance the skies are orange,
somewhere the churches burn,
crowds run in fear as the
cobbles shake,
cornices crumble and rooves collapse,
before the mighty
rumbling advance
of mechanised death.
Maintaining peace,
Law,order,Justice ?
Beneath the inexorable,
unforgiving wheels of armoured giants.
We hear the screams,
and shake,
rifle shots ricochet
young men fall,
echoing the cheers of
brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons,neighbours,
a burst of flame and then silence.
Our blood stirs
just for a moment,
before the reaper’s silence
strikes us cold once more,
hoarfrost chill that creeps
across our necks.
Agoston strikes a match,
the flame gutters,
then catches,
casting his young,
ancient face
into shadow.
The rumbles grow closer,
shards of glass
in shattered windows shake.
The ratchet clank of safety’s slipped,
a flare as the Molotovs soar,
curses in Russian,
the burst of gunfire,
Jozsef stands,
I clutch at his ragged coat,
but my fingers grasp nothing,
he leaps the barricades,
eyes blazing,
I cover my ears to shield them
from his banshee wails.
The Tank stops,
turret swinging
inexorably towards us,
in the shadows
red stars glow in the scattered flame
rounds fly,
I watch
Joszef looses one wild shot
then falls in a hail of lead.
One single crashing roar,
the massive barrel spits fire,
we scatter to the four winds
as sheets of fire embrace the streets
we run
empty children
with innocence lost
no joy,
just the thumping adrenaline rush of fear.


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