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

No comments: