Oppression rankled, uncertainty
snapping at everybody’s heels
brewed up a ferment, seething,
that would not be contained
once people dared to realise
liberation was within their grasp.
But when truth cried out ‘Get free!’
the distant power struck, stamped down,
tanks commandeered the streets
brought carnage, makeshift barricades
collapsed upon the many dead.
Distraught, one desperate couple,
truly believing they had lost
their family amid the crush,
saw no other option except flight.
Cloaked in grief, they fled,
avoiding sentries’ ready bullets
as they crawled beneath barbed wire
onto freedom’s bloody soil,
where they eked out edgy lives
reduced to bearing witness
only in a foreign tongue.
Years much later, it emerged
that after all their children
unbelievably had survived.
Under a reformed regime,
reunion was now possible
but between the generations
razor-wire still wound its coils.
Eventually the husband died.
I helped his wife arrange
details for the solitary funeral.