Rift Valley

by Tabitha Hayward | December 15, 2015

We came upon it slow,
slow climb up the taut, sprung coil
of the not-quite road. Somewhere, a lorry, lame,
on its side. Somewhere, a man with a string
of tiny, dancing people. And us,
rounding each knuckle-bone corner, and still not expecting,
not knowing. Nothing in the hushed hills,
the mute, grey ascent, to ready us for that
gash of gutted earth. Like seeing your insides,
the womb, the rift that sprung mankind, there,
there, in the too-red, too-real landscape.
The vastness, and us, small as the dancers,
spinning from their strings. I spin with them, nauseous,
unnerved, the world falling away behind me, devouring itself.
It will not scab, it will not scar, the blood is warm as earth.
The wind claps her hands, and all the bones rattle.