Friday, 25 May 2012

Lockerbie at 23

She looked up at me with half-masted eyes;
continuous rhythmic motion draining
warm bottles – it was my shift by then,
an oar finally to the water with
these two o’clock feedings and CNN.
In the dark, pale flicker on our faces,
my eyes reflected that trench and debris
in the Scottish village whose sky rained down
a moment of fire and coating blackness
that stuck to the bricks and people like soot.

Time has slipped past the corners of my eyes;
the silk skull, tiny nails, now a woman,
I am up at two just for the body’s
own call, not the innocent cries, but those
somnambular scenes are fresh as Tuesday’s;

the furrow in ancient ground, a ripple
in my brainy surface, a wound to them
--like the scar I’ve since felt burn from a brand
in the shape of a son—looking healed, it
was opened from underneath after years

when the monster was let loose to his cave
and now, again, that he’s gone to his grave.
I cannot think of her sweetness without
their sadness, tender rocking without
the lingering soot – no burial will
change that.

©   E R Olsen

Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi's funeral held

E R Olsen writes poetry and practices law in Nevada, in the U.S., where he lives with his wife and four children. His poems have appeared in several U.S. journals, most recently in Viking.