I Knew Them

How I knew those men.

I knew those men above
concrete pavements and
below the capital,
Strewn with red and yellow,
Written on paper then
passed around to be
howled through the voice
of each another,
Raised above station and
ground like the ever
rebellious fist,
Hammered anger to be
smashed against the rocks
in a hard place,
Wanting for a light
found only in bread
from the land, peaceful,
Crying out steel cold
at slow spring skies,
Breaking under an iron cloth
worn since birth but
never broken here,
Cracked as their lips
which talk endlessly
to the empty ears,
Styled in the image
of labours and efforts
that bring and bring
only survival,
Cut by the winter
of sharp gas burns
and slow food queues
and frozen pays
and austere views,
Sick with the same
darkness crowding the same
tired eyes;

Yes. I knew those men.
I knew those women.
I knew them all.

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