The stories they will tell will appall their children and other people’s children.
The stories they will tell will feature bloodied sand and scalded faces, cold concrete, wire cages, an excess of fear, a lack of food and soap.
The stories they will tell will explain how the stories they screamed to iron-eyed guards were lost in translation, no matter what languages anyone spoke.
The stories they will tell will blind like searchlights, will deafen like gunshots, will itch like lice, will cramp like bacteria in the gut.
The stories they will tell, some whispered like secrets, some shouted into microphones, will come out in pieces, as they at last came out in pieces.
They will be clean, white-haired, polite, but the stories they will tell will be whiskered and gristled, rabid and feral.
The stories they will tell will appall.
The stories they will tell will be the oldest stories ever told.
Jo Angela Edwins has published poems in various journals and anthologies. Her chapbook Play was published in 2016. She has received awards from the SC Academy of Authors and Poetry Super Highway. She lives and teaches in Florence, South Carolina.
Photo by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.