So, last night I read again at Northampton Poetry's Open Mike- a real change-up from last week's piece, this one is titled "Kosovo" -
Our grandfathers built this stone wall-
It replaced a stone wall our great-great-grandfathers built,
around our little town square.
Today, from the safety of this crumbling wall,
I look out at our small, suddenly-empty square,
Where the bullets patter like raindrops on dusty, packed-earth,
And bright pieces of shattered wedding cake,
scattered like snowflakes, melt, in the hot July sun.
This is the square where I teased you and
you made faces at me so long ago;
This is the square where we first kissed,
waking from our childhood slumber
and seeing each other again for the first time.
This is the square where we held each other forever
on that day we said was the happiest of our lives,
before today -today.
This is the square where you lie so still
on that dust-packed earth,
and I crouch behind this wall
and listen to the patter of the bullets.
You always said your raven-black hair
was not black at all,
You said it had streaks and glints of chestnut red,
and you'd get angry that I could never quite see them,
but I can see them now.
And I think, how generous of your hair,
and how like you, to share that red of which you were so proud,
to share it with the dry, thirsty ground
where the red glints lie now, crimsoned splashes all around you,
soaking deep into the soil.
Just wait another moment, my childhood friend,
just wait another moment my grown-up love,
wait a moment while I screw my courage to the sticking place
on this pockmarked and shadowed wall,
wait a moment, and then I will come out and join you.