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#350 Margaret Bending Leaving Russia

Our eyes meet. Unfocussed.

Margaret Bending

His eyes.

I am haunted by his eyes.

I stand behind him,

A queue for salvation.

Slowly, slowly forward.

But for him it is not to be.

Turned back by border guards,

Our eyes meet.


Full of despair.

Full of dread.

As I step forward

I hear a mother’s wail.

They are taking him to a truck.

They will train him.

For a day.

Give him a weapon.


No winter clothes.

No first aid kit.

Just a train to the front.

A life discarded.

I am lucky.

I cross the border.

I can make a new home.

But I am haunted

By his eyes.