Singing for Their Lives

1 February 2013
1

that man over there sang and near and far we listened we who had shut our ears to his song over forty years ago and for those short or long years or long and short years because usually it is a mix some are long some short or shorter than others he sang to himself he wrote his songs and sang them and went on writing and singing his songs year piled on year and looked out at the world from between his words and between his chords looked out from his uncurtained window onto a field that sometimes flowered and sometimes browned and wore to dirt and he kept that rhythm flowering and wearing down flowering and wearing down until one day some son of an old fan came to his door and asked to hear his songs and so he sang and now they want him to leave his bare window overlooking the field and stay in hotel rooms with conditional air and only views of views that never change that never wear down to brown and then green to flower and wear down but are always the same and he said no


2

this man here had given up names to the secret police in his old country who had tortured him until he could not stop his mouth from opening and reciting name after name and now some of those people are dead and some spent many years incarcerated and he is alive and living safe at last and he has a daughter whom he loves and is proud of and they are dead and he loves and is loved and is alive and now he has written a book detailing what happened and he is alive and they are dead and he tells this as it is the bare bones in his book tells how he reached a point when he could not take any more and started to talk a point when he chose to live and he knew the regime that was torturing him were without mercy and he knew that he was trading places and now he has written it all down as clearly as that and at the end he was asked did he think this confession of his actions would allow him peace at last and he said no

 


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2 Responses to Singing for Their Lives

  1. Christine Kerr says:

    I really enjoyed the opportunity ‘to speak out’ Patricia’s words – her writing forced me how to consider the breaks and the patterns of speech and how each time i read her words out loud i was compelled to consider the stresses in the language of her poetry. I find Patricia’s work very powerful, very visual and very emotive. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

  2. Pingback: Circular Poetry Contributor: Patricia Reid | Letter.Box.Stamp.Collect.

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