A row of men are marched, youth and ancients, blindfolded men,
hands bound tight behind, steps off balance, blindfolded men.
The line holds fast, the breath of one measures for the next;
prodded toward trucks, they stand attendance, blindfolded men.
The line folds up, each captive hoisted in by soldiers;
called a package in GI parlance, blindfolded men.
In hooded darkness, lines of men are moved to prison camps;
they listen as the sightless do, awaiting entrance, blindfolded men.
The line unfolds, dissolves into a breathing pool
bodies spread murmuring endurance; blindfolded men.
Captors guard blind-eyed over the tormented sea,
ignore the clank of manacled dance: blindfolded men.
Unfaced men become commonplace on front-pages
media disguises intolerance: blindfolded men.
Indifferent citizens don’t care to look behind prisoner masks;
the tortured would stare back, askance. Blindfolded men.
This poem appears in Inside/Out
poems © the authors
compilation © The Freedom Archives