The Death Embrace – A Poem

Through dust and wind the plastic dance;
Beneath the churning grey advance;
Her steps methodical and true;
Only her fears, they did pursue.

The town sits quiet, tense and tight;
Collective breath held through the night;
Row by row, huts small and crude;
Makeshift homes for those pursued.

Her dreams, a playground for the dead;
Her past held loosely in her head;
She trudges forth, o’er bog, through field;
Knowing what that day would yield.

Upon the berm the watchman waits;
Scanning for the telltale traits;
His practiced eye, perfected gaze;
As each successive child he weighs.

From ‘top the wall he spots his prey;
‘Halt’, but will the girl obey?
Leaping down to close the gap;
Quarry found now to entrap.

What makes the fire a girl-child be?
Why does she die? A mystery;
Salvation lies two steps beyond;
By ridding herself of what she’d donned.

Child and watchman are no more;
Aggregates for those keeping score;
Eternity in their death embrace;
They’re now blanked out, without a trace.


About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).
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1 Response to The Death Embrace – A Poem

  1. Suzanne says:

    Very touching piece. Elegantly captures the plight of the girl child in the ongoing insurgency in Northeast Nigeria.


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