2022 Poetry Collection

Everyday Event


the shadows huddled in

corners, soon to be sacrificed to the glorious

Sun, whose minion rays even now, dressed in outrageous

armour of light, were piercing the patterned bedroom floor,

seeking searching

running them down

The shadows moaned softly.

I had never before been awake

to their pain, my eyes entertained blissfully by my own

hallucinations of peace at dawn,

seeing everywhere a circus clown,

and I the beloved entertained local,

not the foreigner fleeing,

but now I felt

the sun slit my own

skin with blazing intensity,

burning and branding me

with gold oppression –

now I knew their frantic obsession to


Especially the little one, splayed shiveringly across the bottom of the opposite wall,

who had just made friends with the mouse whom it followed everywhere.

Shadows, too, are friends.

I had just decided no matter what,

I must

intervene when I looked up

and my eyes screamed in terror;

the Sun’s rays seared and blinded me and

in forced submission I

lowered my eyes,

averted my eyes from what I could never

look at directly

So I kept silent.

As I witnessed mutely the marching massacre of thousands on thousands on thousands on

thousands of

families of shadows of arching aching arms entwined

in despair,

ripping apart and departing

and I could only repeat to myself:

the Sun is good and bright and beautiful,

imagining my own happy summery sun-drenched days,

purposely trying to not

know the shadows’


to forget the pouring

tears from eyes which still avoided the

blessed sun out of


trying again each day,


in anticipation of the

merciless dawn,

to convince myself it is merely

an everyday event

an everyday death,

not a holocaust

Isabel Chumbe

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