Lost, they seemed like neighbours
Sometimes odd in manner, yet
We saw them as sharing in our mix
Of foibles and humours.
What did they hope for, here?
Suspending all their visions
And locking safety away
To fall asleep in a world not their own
Lit by the rude incandescent
Grey with sameness and waste.
What did they think of us, then?
As they strove to eat as we ate
To test the waters for their ideals
And, sensing rebuff,
To secure the lines of escape.
Even today, I cannot comprehend
The disappointment of four centuries,
And as many awakenings;
Nor the abiding hope
That saw them living among us
Only to be chased down sewers
By the latest elite in soldiering.
Once off, I admired their masks
Relics to be auctioned now that
They’d fled deeper than Onkalo
Below their barricades.
Elizabeth Cook, 2016