Manus

By John Bartlett
Manus Island detention poetry Right Now

These boy-men
are
still learning to be men,
fleeing
the club,
the lash,
the gun,
once more,
controlled,
contained,
kept-boys,
caged-boys,
not-free-range-boys,
bashed boys,
prisoner-of-war-boys,
rabbits-in-traps-boys,
not-yet-men-boys,
but,
caring-for-each-other,
kind-boys,
these,
comrades-in-arms,
these men-boys.

And we,
citizens of Salo,

staring.

 

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