The flogging stone in Bagamoyo by Helen Freeman

I am not a silent poet

sounds the thunk of chains, 
the marimba far off in the distance
and the wind pounding it.
Sweat lands like a bloated barbet 
stains ochre from flesh rubbed raw.
Our goodbyes were being born.
Groans like rain pelting trees 
fit for no ear, reach mine.
My tongue tastes of tar, timber, 
dead fish. The slice of a slave whip, 
luting, shrieking a strident dark music
to no drumbeat. De-fib. Erratic 
as the prayers you howled 
under the fall of a hammer,
arms bound in a cross-less execution
Bagamoyo –  a Tanzanian coastal town used by slave traders in late 19th century.
It means ‘Say goodbye to your heart’

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