Poem 67: Broken branches

The wind that broke the branch
forced it to twist and dance before
it died. And what is more,
it stripped it to the core and slashed
its leaves and bark, and bashed
it ‘til it snapped and crashed upon
the ground. Its life had gone.
Death ended all the fun the wind

The young girl danced at his
command; her captor’s wish;
his power; his lust; a dish; spittoon;
his weekly afternoon
delight. She fell quite soon. He spread
her legs and shot her dead,
a bullet to the head. He’ll get
another bit of meat next time
he goes to town.

(The form of this poem is based on the Vietnamese Luc bat. The poem was “driven” by the abduction of 110 schoolgirls by Boko Haram in the Nigerian town of Dapchi).

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

15 thoughts on “Poem 67: Broken branches

  1. umashankar

    The first stanza sets the base of the very disturbing lines that follow. Again, the imagery employed in the beginning emphasises the devilish power of the brute, and the helplessness of the victim. And all the time, the poem retains a lyrical roll, adding to the grisliness of the subject.

    Liked by 1 person

            1. Bruce Goodman Post author

              Yes – I agree – I think it’s a form to rival any other – and you should try it! The challenge with the rhyme is to not make it sound trite – so I find myself using “half-rhymes” to avoid it becoming too nursery-rhymie.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. John Looker

    Hello Bruce. The poem shocked me on reading it, and then I came upon your explanation – and of course that took me back to the shockingly awful news of those poor girls. A fine poem on a very difficult theme. All the best, John

    Liked by 1 person


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