The artist’s stadium (iii)

by Elizabeth Trew

“Where are you, the disappeared?
Our sons and daughters who sang in the public arena?”
The mothers mill in the stricken stadium
with placard faces of missing children.

She carries the pain back to her house
her studio – her tortured chamber
to keep their presence and enter the pain of herself,
undoes her home – disfigures each thing in her room:

           fills cement in the mouths
                     of broken wardrobes,
           pulls the skin of youth
                     across battered tables
           winds the lock of a daughter’s hair
                     around wrists of a severed chair,
           sews a web of silken hair
                     through the spine of a door
           lets the wind invade
                     a daughter’s dress,
           twists the iron frame
                     of a son’s bed.

She binds the pain so fiercely in,
waits for a clearing house of peace,
for song in the field
so she can rest.

(Unland. Sculptures by Doris Salcedo, Colombia, 1998).


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