Scarlet River

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I met a boy  A skinny little boy with sad brown eyes He was sitting on a sun scorched rock by the sluggish river  "Why is the river looking like this?" His voice could have been an angel's whisper     A cherub he was I looke...

I met a boy 

A skinny little boy with sad brown eyes

He was sitting on a sun scorched rock by the sluggish river 

"Why is the river looking like this?"

His voice could have been an angel's whisper    

A cherub he was

I looked at the old tired river, then back at the boy

"The river was not always like this"

His attention was now directed at the tear

The big bright bitter tear that broke from my rheumy eye and splattered on the ground

"It used to be as clear as a child's conscience

And as fresh as the breathe of a new born

Then one sordid dark day they couldn't agree

The policians I mean

T' was at first a heated verbal exchange

Then it became a verbal war 

Insults 

Then they were threatening each other

Grandstanding in their stone age, hatefilled views 

O, what egregious folly!

And soon machetes, simisrungus and other implements of carnage took over

Neighbour turned against neighbour, 

Friend against friend,

Families against each other

Burning,

Cutting, 

Maiming,

Slashing,

Disembowing, 

Dicapitating

With crude weapons political differences were debated

On the weak unpopular opinions imposed

As the land lamented

And the blood flowed unbidden 

And mothers over dead sons and daughters wept

"Is that why the river looks like this?"

The boy looked even more sad

Alone

A cosmic orphan 

A tiny white spot in an evil miasma

I looked away, too ashamed of my guilt-ridden tear...my generation

For destroying a poor boy's innocence

And tainting his colourful outlook of the universe

And robbing him off his faith in mankind

And messing up his belief in the Sovereign 

"That's why the river is scarlet my son

That's why the river is the colour of blood 

It once used to be clear,

Fresh

But not any more

It is filled with crying blood,

And dead men's bones,

And dreams cut short by machete wielding political imbeciles

And hopes forever dashed 

And disenting voices silenced

That is why my son."

The boy was still sitting on the jagged rock when I left

His sad brown eyes now had a distant look in them

A disconcerting look that I couldn't interprate

And the Scarlet River flowed on before him.

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