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October 5, 2014

Stolen Lives and Grief in the World

Most days, the news is a source of grief and sadness. Some times, the news of tragic, untimely loss rises up in front of us, a living nightmare. I am grateful that poetry can serve as such a perfect outlet for the emotions we feel when this happens. This week, I am posting another poem by Liz Davies. She writes: "I was in South Africa on holiday just after huge storms had occurred. The bones of young girls who had been missing for a decade were found on the beach, very near their murderer's beach house. He had committed suicide. I had tears pouring down my face writing this."


Illustration, Kate Greenway, Dover Clipart

Missing Girls

Liz Davies

They have lain so long along and under that wild coast,
Between grey sea, sky and undulating foam-laced sand.
Their fair flesh has long since blended into Africa,
And their bones, bleached like shells, lie unheard.
Those strong constant bones which should have borne them,
Borne their babes, borne their loves in future years,
Have been snatched and cruelly stolen; the stolen years
Have left but tears, and the hearts of those who search
And wait have dried and aged, under steady, deadly pain.
But now the distant planets conspire with moon and sea
To rage and pound, to lift the covering sand, to free the silent bones
From the rocks beneath. The moon which should have governed their lives,
Given them power and grace, shone on their loves, laughter and passion,
Has led the searchers to these frail remains. Thanks be to the moon
And stars for shining hope on shattered lives, and to the strong-fingered,
Returning sea for shifting, opening, delving, lifting, giving back.
The girls, the stolen girls will lie in hallowed ground now,
Close by their childhood haunts; flowers can be laid, prayers made,
And headstones bear witness to their brief, sweet lives.

Poem copyright Liz Daves, all rights reserved.

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