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Refugees, a Poem by Craig Kirchner

Photo by Levi Meir Clancy

They walk down empty streets,

between demolished homes.

The clock in the square has no hands.

Rats at the end of the alleys,

eat their dead,

the grind of their teeth in the flesh

the only interruption

of the humid afternoon

silence of retreat, devastation.

No more drive-by -

not the carts full of plague

long gone to shallow graves

and cried over,

not the car bombings, no Jihad,

only crippled insurgents

left with limbless occupiers,

only gray lines of brutal aging

slow lifeless exit.

And in the undisturbed

brick and limestone,

everything quietly waiting for

the nocturnal, the gutters to run clear,

and shadows begin to crawl,

as innocence tries again

to sneak in, to root,

to find an infant footing.


Craig Kirchner thinks of poetry as hobo art. He loves storytelling and the aesthetics of the paper and pen. He has had two poems nominated for the Pushcart, and has a book of poetry, Roomful of Navels. After a writing hiatus, he was recently published in Decadent Review, New World Writing, Wild Violet, Ink in Thirds, Last Leaves, Literary Heist, Quail Bell, The Globe Review, Ariel Chart, Lit Shark, and has work forthcoming in Cape Magazine, Flora Fiction, Young Ravens, Chiron Review, and several dozen other journals.


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