How It All Began: The Killing Fields
Written by Connie K Walle (as told by Nat Phang)
Intelligence reduced to skulls
stacked like melons, under
bullets screaming like demons.
He lies in foul mud. Another's blood
drips off his nose, and between his legs.
He dares not brush off mosquitoes,
scratch, or take a deep breath.
Silence seeps in. All that is left is acrid
smell of rotting flesh. No bullets, no voices.
He slips out of the pit into deep grasses,
lies quietly, waits for sounds or movement.
Runs through the jungle for home. Moves
into the house, places his hand over his wife's
mouth to silence her cry of joy. Then, helps her
dig a pit to hide him covered with a carpet.
The next night, he again is on the run.
His wife tells a neighbor and the news
echoes like marbles in a can.
In panic and fear, baskets were filled with food,
children were tied to backs, and feet began
the long hard trail to freedom.
From her forthcoming book: Kon Euy Keng Tov ~ Go to Sleep My Children