Linda Rogers – The Earth Moves and Bright

“Hold on, the mother sings to herself
in the rain, holding her infant child
above the floodwaters. Hold on,
the orphan who sleeps standing up
will not let go of her doll. For one
hundred and one days they’ve been
waiting for the toxic waters to release
the souls of their loved ones. For one
hundred and one days they’ve been
praying for the children left behind.

We are a prehensile species, holding onto our children:
mothers giving birth in trees, remembering the lessons
of our simian ancestors, mothers holding on through
earthquake, hurricane and plague, when the earth
moves and bright angels, their bones bleached white,
the colour of mourning, fall through the cracks.

Now, after one hundred and one days,
the trees are receiving the voices of
souls come back. Does water polluted
by death without blessings, le dernier
priye,
release the voices of angels or devils?
Who is it that speaks when the wind of
savage gods whispers in leaves watered
by innocent blood? Do not question the
mothers and children with the world in their
hands, just praise them for holding on”.

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