Laughing faces on the edge of darkness
Twisting in the blue-gold light, the digital glow
Eyes are windows into shadow, or mirrors
And these cliffs that tumble out of the forest
To drown themselves in the raging sea
From heights lost to a woolen sky
Have forged the way in fire, steel, and blood.
How many eyes widened here, gazing at the horrors beyond?
The echoing screams, earth-stained hands clutching at hope
In a world it abandoned long ago
Who was the last to leave?
Walking—a survivor—or carried in a wooden cart
Atop a pile of their fellows
From this place whose legacy is death.
The fences came; the bridge that was not burned
That darkness seeped into the Earth, and the surface was born anew
Gone the hollow faces marked with disease
Eyes filled with horror or blinded by it
The screams faded into the gentle lapping waves
Of an ocean that carries away the scars.
This is the horizon they saw—
Now, on the far side of it, a new day waits.
Photo by Cátia Matos from Pexels