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To let them die peace

There wasn’t room for sympathy,
The epicentre moved too rapidly for that
And even when we knew the anger
Of the dispossessed the storm had passed.

It blew into their lives already stressed
By large events with precedents that rose
From dark and baleful incidents beyond
The wildest stretch of their naïve imagination.

Ululation for the recent dead resounded
Through the canvas tents that formed
In ragged lines amongst the devastation,
The remnants of their island nation.

Piled upon a shattered beach the living dead had listened
Listlessly to those who preach, their eyeless faces
Turned to seek the truth, a worthy explanation,
But none would come and lift them in their desolation.

We left them to their solitude, we left them to
Pursue another foe whose spoor we’d seen descending,
We left them promising that we’d return but
Knew the truth without them comprehending.

The storm that passed had killed the earth they sat
Upon and soon would kill them too, it mattered not
What we could do except to let them die
In peace – and never tell them why.

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Poem To let them die peace - Ivan Donn Carswell