Scattering the March

by Dennis Nurkse

Dennis Nurkse

I was not beaten
but the boy beside me was.
He broke stride, stumbled,
the sticks circled over him,
corralling him into their world.
I met his eyes and lip-read
“run,” a whisper
engulfed in sirens.
I slowed down
in an unknown neighborhood,
a street of watch repairers,
tinsmiths, tailors sitting
cross-legged in dim windows
staring at lacquered Singers
like men whose eyes
are lost in a fire,
and I ducked past them
glancing sideways
in deep pity because I’d been
a step away from freedom.

The Rules of Paradise

Last updated December 21, 2022