Flesh, by Rachel Kennedy

2010 Charles Shull Contest for Traditional Poetry, Second Place

by Rachel Kennedy

Barbed wire layered makeshift fences
of camps which housed the oppressed.
Millions crumbled under duress
when people believed nonsense
from one man’s warped defense
for murder. They stood undressed
parts exposed so skin could bake and digest
inked numbers. Stinking death lay in trenches,
crushing other bones.
Bodies stuffed in holes of soil
while being stained
with decay. Each tear of one who bemoans
the dead embraces a body in turmoil
that went up in smoke when the chambers reigned.


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