Voices on the Wind
Voices of Protest
A body’s memory
by Mark Vogel
can be more than simple nightmare,
when a boy again thin and broken
reverts to habit as a fearful slow motion history
in slow motion squirms,
and the politics of survival trembles
in an exhausted body
in hot/cold panic, too aware in night
cloud and mist,
as if the one and only counselor
attentive for so long,
has been sent home, her job terminated.
When old bruises linger like the first time,
again colored purple and green.
Then in early dawn the boy’s family
stumbles again out of context a decade
after they gave up rights,
as an imprinted agenda feeds terror—
his pores alert in leering backward horror.
The touch in the dark is clammy,
unreal, and the kid, shocked alert,
moves on auto-pilot as
the movie demands he cry out.
Ahead glittering adult eyes
collect in a meth-head pack.
Though the right look/the right touch
can help—a friendly dog
that noses for affection; a substitute
mother who brings comfort food—
still now he shrinks to block blows,
his eyes averted before the ugly waste.
He is haunted, maybe for good.