Our sleep has been troubled by evil dreams
of children who no longer wish
to sit in our branches and look at the sky.
We used to gladly bear their weight
on ropes which bit and cut our flesh
and they would swing up higher, higher,
feeling the jubilant gut-lurch of fear
willing flight but wanting escape.
They were masters, but now they are marionettes.*
They have made us their instruments of death.
Now we will fear the approach of the young
preparing to kill, preparing to mourn.
First published in Reach
Between January 2007 and April 2008, nineteen young people apparently took their own lives in the Bridgend area of South Wales, UK. All but one were found hanged. The average number of suicides per annum in this area is three.
* ‘A Master of the Marionettes’ by Guy Hibbert, BBC One Television, 1989