Fall 2007 • Vol. XXIX No. 4 Poetry |

Skull Trees, South Sudan

Arok, hiding from the Arabs in the branches of a tree, two weeks surviving on leaves, legs numb, mouth dry. When the mosquitoes swarmed and the bodies settled limp as petals under the trees, he shinnied down, scooping out a mud pit with his hands sliding into it like a snake, his whole body covered except his mouth. Perhaps others were near him, lying in gloves of mud, sucking bits of air through the swamp holes, mosquitoes biting their lips, but he dared not look. What did he know of the rest of South Sudan, pockmarked with bombs, skull trees with their necklaces of bones, packs of bony Lost Boys roving like hyenas towards Ethiopia, tongues, big as toads, swelling in their mouths, the sky pouring its relentless bombs of fire. Of course they were tempted to lie down for a moment, under the lone tree, with its barely shade, to rest just a little while before moving on, the days passing slyly, hallucinations floating like kites above them until the blanched bones lay scattered in

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Haying

By Deborah Digges

Arok, hiding from the Arabs in the branches of a tree, two weeks surviving on leaves, legs numb, mouth dry. When the mosquitoes swarmed and the bodies settled limp as […]

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