Frozen trees rasp in the wind. I think of a song I once heard about a dictator where the fiddler scraped the strings with his fingernails.


  1. Memento Mori

    It begins as a thread,
    a voice lost above the descant of water.

    We stop what we are doing in the kitchen
    and lean toward the window, look out
    where frozen trees rasp in the wind.

    A wingbeat carrying
    the gathered sound of a hundred things.

    I think of a song I once heard about
    a dictator, and the man he made to scrape
    the strings of a fiddle with his fingernails.

    Last night’s icicles
    glint like daggers from the eaves.

    One for each tiny hair that prickles on your nape:
    count them if you can, then sing along– bodies in the river,
    bodies sighing under a blanket of grass.

    ~ Luisa A. Igloria
    12 28 2010

    (for the victims of the Ampatuan massacre; and for all who have gone missing, or have suffered and perished, from any form of state or political repression)

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