They lost their voices in that land.

They lost their souls
and bowed their heads.

They trudged
backs bent and beaten red
sweat streaming down their faces into their eyes
across the slough.

They screamed
but no one heard them
in that land where they lost their voices.

And standing on the furrowed ground
they joined their hands and sang
wordless voiceless soundless sang
while all around the silence rang
and filled their heads with voiceless song.

Their hands were empty,
hearts were tried.
Who can say how many died?
When I came to that place where voices end
I saw their blood spilled across the sand
and staining the slough it trickling ran
and ran and ran and ran.

No man can understand
till he takes the ground and stands
and kisses the soil and falls upon the sand
and strains his ears for voices lost
the hidden cost
and hears them echo in his soul

and knows
at once
what happened in that land.

If you enjoyed “Voices,” check out some more poetry…

Child of the Sun
In the Garden
Quartet

All poetry is housed on The Poetry Deck archives.

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