To Rolfe – an Elegy

(Episode One – 16th November 2001)

I never did like you.
That I think you know.
You must have known,
When we left you in that cage:
Locked from home and things familiar.
Your mind being physically jerked.
You lying there,
Quiet in your vomit;
Lying there and looking at me,
Up at me, with your chin on the floor,
Looking with eyes that don’t see –
But speak volumes:
Liquid, soft, scared – quiet.

We are all brought here somehow,
To suffer somehow,
And survive somehow, with life or with death.
But somehow – somehow – you should be exempt from all of this.

Yet there you were –
As I left for home –
Walking haphazard,
Dry nose against clapped iron,
After three days of fast,
Three days of gut wrenches,
Three days of muted pain.
All rewarded by an indefinite exile in Howl Hole.
(We have it far easier –
At least there is someone
Waiting
Outside.)

I never did like you.
But if they would
I would be waiting outside.
That I think you know.

(Episode Two – 19th November 2001)

Fifth day.
You were quiet and weak.
They were non-committal and complacent.
We were ignorant of all
But your suffering – or were we?
I misunderstood your yells
As you lay immobile – pierced everywhere.
Fed you with trickles of water,
After a five day fast.

Five days.
What were they like to you?
And the nights?
What horror did you feel –
Alone – in a cage – sick to the bone?
My punishment is my regret.
If any consolation
(If one can call it that)
Is when you returned home:
Within mere minutes,
You were at peace.

R.I.P.

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