Washing Up On Easter Day

This one needs chewing on, and you may not like the taste.

 

Washing up on Easter Day
I listen to the radio
in a darkening afternoon.

More news. The haemorrhage
continues down forced passages
past a forgotten frontier. I scrub plates here
while there they wash in blood
draining into yesterday.
But they engrave a memory
of still born children and the old just dead
on scraped and sodden hillsides.

Easter Day is pregnant. Footprints may fade
from the mountain, mountains of print
be binned with the empties, but old vintages,
pruned, thrust down roots deeper,
while in new ground
new strains are planted,
so their cup may be full.

The print on the menu fades.
The ghosts remain seated.
We shall see them rise again.

And more plates wait
to be washed in the dark room.

From Three poems for Kosovo
© David Collins 6th April 1999