Ghetto Games

The Promise

A grieving 5-year old
promised her rabbit:

Don't cry, little one!
When the soldiers
come to grab you...
I won’t leave you.


Well of Twilight 

Beneath a gloomy square of the sky
     in the shadow of awesome, looming walls,
a crowd of kids met day after day
     to test, to learn in that well of twilight
which ones in the block were destined to die.

Just a few at a time. Our faces were grey
     and small, our eyes were clouded with fear.
We hung the Book and a key on a thread –
     for we understood the path of death
yet could not make it go away.

We huddled close with lonely dread
     in our hearts. The Bible turned around
and with it, the key. They came to rest
     at random to point at a ghetto child.
He would be the first among the dead.

The block has grown, the world progressed.
     I, the survivor, stand in the sunlight
aware of the cloud in every eye
     as fear of the future grips the globe,
rekindling doom in every breast.

Thomas Land 

If you have any comments on this poem,  Thomas Land would be pleased to hear from you.