In The Wake Of Another Terror Attack

by Luke Otley

I sat safe on shore with you, playing with the silt
we watched families blow their last kisses
aboard boats swallowed
by the hungry earth
and waited for them to be burped up on the beach.
Our holiday was ruined.

You told me our generation’s stagnant
as backyard pond water, stuck
like children’s achievements on refrigerators, hung
to drip dry on headline after headline.

Once the sky offered us answers,
now a vein has opened in our palms
and the world comes thundering out
in horrifying clarity,

all our monkey brains
can do is watch, twitch, react, to the mess
we’ve inherited
as the last imperial crumbs fall from the world stage,
heavy as house bricks on our hearts.

The borders are long closed now,
you listened for danger at our door;
the bolts ran up its side like laces in a Roman sandal.

By the time the canisters finally whistled through our window
like word of greener pastures
I was thankful
for the chance to cry.