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A Butchers' Country

Kevin Carter's Pulitzer Prize-winning photo Starving Child and Vulture | 1993


The World of Deads

"Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night."-Matthew Arnold (Dover Beach)

One butcher asks another smilingly

Sitting on the piles of flesh, still oozing blood

"How do you feel killing?"

"Actually it's an act of Him, how can I feel?"

He keeps laughing

At the humorous question of the first butcher

Blood dripping out of fresh flesh, bodies torn just now,

Dry leafless winter spreads against the sky,

Bayoneted and bombed and fired to million pieces,

The swarming flies hover on the piles of flesh,

The butchers look at the flies affectionately,

"His messenger", they exclaimed,

The sweet scent of flesh and blood opiate them

Feeling drowsy, they rest their heads on their heavy blood stained guns,

Flies sat on their shoulders,

Out of drowsiness they feel the hand of Him patting them

For their acts for Him and keep smiling,

The flies dance heavily and sing lullaby on the piled flesh.

© 2021 Ilina Jones

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