Alan Dunnett

from the Civil War sequence

Return to Violence
Time passes. Kimble takes control of the east while the narrator is left with the west where, 2 years later, things flare up again.
I had to send this message, Kimble, though
you bear the scars. They say your crops are good.
Here, the water has run out. We all die
daily. When I scratch myself on the dry
lips of my wife before I go to work,
I realise it will never end. Guns.
They speak of guns just like the time before.
If you do not fight, you are not a man,
they say, and you cannot fight bare-handed.
The people trust me. If I went alone
Into darkness with fire, they’d follow.
Then I must show no fear and be sure
of my beliefs although he’s tried to change
my mind ever since the whole thing started.
Don’t judge me harshly, Marie, when I leave
you and the children to do violence.
You say I should never have prayed. A lie
is what you call my prayer since I prayed
for peace. I will understand you in time.
Right now, I am going in hard. The jaws
of a mad thing are agape and drooling.
I am going in, deeper than ever,
Kimble. God is good. Allow me that. God
is on the side of the believer. I,
like him, with his unreasonable eyes, sad
and brutal and non-negotiating,
will kill him all ways again and again.

Alan Dunnett © 2010