Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Reports from the Palace"

The abandoned hospital
was a godsend. We are
exhausted, and short on hope.
--
Dusty coverlets on carefully
made beds stretching
down the many wards.
--
Those of us with
training in medicine
have been taken aside
and whispered to.
--
October. No word from you.
The old cities glowing
sickly, remotely, to the east.
--
Armed guards
around the morphine.
--
Seasons slowing down.
Two of the scouts
have still not returned.
--
As yet there have
been no relays from
the south tower.
--
In the emergency bay
someone has erected
a sculpture fashioned
from used syringes.
--
The ravaged, upper sections
sealed off. No one allowed
above the third level.
--
Nightly, a rage of flame
on the horizon. The smell
of temples on fire.
--
Linen missing. Frost
on a heap of wheelchairs
stacked in the back field.
--
Another scout gone.
The meeting reset
for tomorrow.
--
Just before dawn.
All my transmissions
to you coming back
to me, unanswered.
--
Someone has been
on the roof again.
Footprints. Palmprints.
Evidence of signaling.
~Ian McBryde

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