To the Killing Fields

by Lorraine Caputo

I.

How many of you on

this tour, with greying & white locks,

faced or lost

family, friends

in these killing fields?

 

 

II.

A large stone blocks our way

to the cemetery

No-one of these three dozen

wants to go

… If there is no way

                      then we shan’t

                      It doesn’t matter …

But a lone voice insists

his tour mates proclaim

… But we shan’t get off …

 

We ease our way

past the boulders

the road then clear

to those killing fields

 

Where one by one each descends

to say a prayer for

to read the commemorations to

those who died

at Pisagua

Lorraine Caputo is a documentary poet, translator and travel writer. Her works appear in over 100 journals in Canada, the US, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa; 11 chapbooks of poetry – including Caribbean Nights (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014) and the upcoming Notes from the Patagonia (dancing girl press, 2016); and 17 anthologies. She has also authored a dozen travel guidebooks. In March 2011, the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada chose her verse as poem of the month. Caputo has done over 200 literary readings, from Alaska to the Patagonia. For the past decade, she has been traveling through Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth.