War Diaries (loose leaf)

5 quick you are well, but weary

a brother is more than a black man
with a problem
spread around
some are restless others solid
others in uproar some live long and prosper
a brother can break



13 “the vague hushes”
                                         MIA #1

maybe it was our fault he was hung out to dry
he was always a break neck from danger
now brought down to the dense earth

when he stood his ground our nerves jarred



15 near the brink
                                         MIA #2

there is war around here



20 you need to loiter a little

this brought his beauty
ever nearer

our memories are strained and jangling



25 tenderly caught and saved

he is here
his skin somewhat beautiful
cut across and open
is a sight
we see more of him than before
it’s still unbelievable

exquisite face



31 why nothing exhausts but sympathy

what is not there could
be off the edge
a brother is at odds
wet warm and bloody



Note: Gwendolyn Brooks 'Anniad' in Annie Allen is a starting point for this poem

Deborah Richards is published in Chain, HOW2, Nocturnes, Leroy Press, XCP, Callaloo, Encyclopedia, Mixed Blood and Boundary 2. She has a book of poems, Last One Out, published by subpress. She is a south London girl but is attracted to the buzz north of the river. Deborah is writing and thinking about love etc.