Nancy L. Meek

LAST TO DIE

Forced to surrender, you fear you are dead,
shaking with angst over what lay ahead…
Hanoi Hilton, the Dogpatch or Zoo
where strong bonds are forged via empathy true;
cemented by torture, endurance and sweat
and guttural screams you shall never forget,
at the hands of captors who’d smile as you die,
your suffrage felt by your comrades, who lie
naked and freezing, or staked in the sun
days upon end for an improper “achtung”;
or rifle-butted then locked in 4 by 4 cages,
a tactic enjoyed by the cruelest for ages;
or denied their rice ball, a fair daily wage,
at least to your “host” embracing old rage
for them and for you, still clinging to hope
and a crumb of love at the end of your rope.