I would say to you this…, by Cath Campbell

I am not a silent poet

I saw a photo in the paper,
you running naked, your dress blown off.
Because you were covered in dust 
you seemed not injured,
I thought,
until I caught
your frozen eyes,
raised skyward,
lost in the inferno back the way you’d come,
careering out of the molten fire town,
flying on spindly child legs,
your mouth a cavern that roared its fear.

That was over forty years ago.
Burned history still maps your skin.
Dustless, I imagine you are a mother
and a grandmother, that you laugh a lot,
chat with friends,
walk the green love light avenues,
and only on occasion
does your mind go back to the day you faced the devil.
Whether theirs or ours,
you were too young to know,
and, anyway, all planes
have the same underbelly when birthing bombs.

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