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I thought they’d fall like paper cranes,

but they fell like stones.

They fell like night,

like a hard rain.


I thought they’d drop like feathers,

but they went like clay pots,

the tumble and quick of their small bodies

against pillar, against shake, against stone.



It was quick.

There was no one

but the ferns,

proud and baptismal,

quiet guards.

They know about darkness.


I won’t tell you about

how the weight of them dropped

so quickly, that their milk breath hung

in the thick air, and I won’t tell you about my hands

how they hung, curled and clawed,

over the wide mouth of the well.

I won’t tell you about the sound water makes

when it welcomes flesh.


Who am I to take a life, you ask?

Who are you daughter? Who are you to shame?

It was you who brought us to this well.

It was you who let them go.


HEArt 2014