Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Hostage

A bleached Massey Ferguson 135
parks hurriedly just out of sight;  
the driver hurries to answer 
the Imam's call.

It is a Friday afternoon
and I am sitting alone
at the foot of the shoemaker's tree.

Hospitality is suspended by prayer;
an hiatus without the dull thud
of hammer on leather, and the forming of soles.

Chickens wander about, tidying
crumbs as they go. They have no need
of prayer, as they do not have long to live.
Left alone unguarded, I discover
I had forgotten why anyone, or anything, 
should be so desperate as to have need of prayer.

Then a traffic jam of male voices
soars into the evening sky,
and a star blacks out;
blacked out long before even a single life
was first lugged onto these cursed shores.

I shiver in a world, 
we have just made colder.

© niall oconnor 2015


  1. Made me shiver Niall - very good!

  2. Delaina J. MillerMarch 9, 2015 at 10:10 AM

    So powerful. I will feel this one for a while. Thank you Niall


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