Massacre

We find our way down the cliff,

Past

Asters

And sphagnum,

Heather

And clover;

 

A muddy track

Provides the route.

 

Over style,

Past kissing gate,

We don’t pause.

 

And the cave mouth,

Distorted;

a painful yawn,

Dripping with hillside water

We crawl through.

 

Into the cold

and wet and dark.

 

Off-set by the brightness

Of

Our phones;

 

We find a sheep skull

Balanced

on slippery rock.

 

Someone has strategically positioned

Candles to the rear,

Illuminating.

 

We feel our way,

Hands on

Slimy walls.

 

To the back,

Where the babies

Likely died

Smothered,

Suffocated.

 

On that day,

300 people perished,

fires set by the MacLeod’s,

wiping out the islanders;

three times the population of today.

 

I imagine most would have died from the smoke,

Lack of oxygen

Or excess carbon monoxide;

The damp would have attenuated any heat

Or flames;

 

Still,

A miserable death.

massacre cave with ram

See here for more on the cave.

2 comments

  1. The contrast between the description of the cliff flowers and the cave interior is so effective.
    I read the story of the cave – horrific, and then people collect ‘souvenirs ‘!
    A nightmare.
    A sad comment on the struggle for survival and on some aspects of human nature.
    (Presumably K9 was the only one then to pay attention to that notice!)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.