How I found Ehva
We’re waiting lined for the latrine –
Above us white-cut diamond skies,
Thin sun weak still struggling to rise –
Bodies numbed by the burning chill,
The stench of the pits damped, frozen.
The woman behind. No more than twenty,
Face hollow, eyes filled with fresh ghosts.
Please hold her – a child blanketed –
The ground is hard, she pleads.
I wait for her return,
The child’s swell against my breast.
A shot. Screams.
Behind a screen.
We fall. Wait.
Wait. For the bell.
Find her slumped.
Red fractals. Blossoms. Stamped in ice.
How thick her blood spreads!
Her ghost strengthens. Grows. In her eyes lives.
Death pulling, frosted lashes flutter.
Keep her close, she whispers.
She’s lifted. Taken bound.
Back in my tent I unwrap;
The tag on her wrist states “Ehva”.