alfie lee writing


In the bargaining

Of time, on the road, on the plain,
two meet. Said one, for your beads
we give you smallpox and death. Here's the list
of those that will perish. This
the name of my firstborn!
you said. Yes. For your deeds
it's the least we could do. For your
labour we give you life
of everlasting poverty
that you may strife
for what precious little you have.
I understand. For your bounty
we give you drought and doubt. For your days
we give you nights and for each night
a mare to ride out. Forsake we have
your whites of eyes
to rub the black dawn red. Forsooth
a chorus to tongue your hopes
in words you cannot make up. And with our guns
and promises we have you
freedom to choose
the method of your own demise. So finally
for your confidence we gift
the time the way. Forever too soon to be
too late.


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