In Shoes of Their Own    by    Jack Marshall

In Shoes of Their Own by Jack Marshall


              In Shoes of their Own


I wonder what those fleeing refugees are

feeling underneath those barrel-bombs…

if one were to hit them just before


exploding. I try to imagine what

the impact would do

to a human skull. Just getting thwacked


as a kid by a baseball bat on the back

of the head, — the way shock knocked

the breath out of the myriad air sacs


in your lungs at once, then sensational

throbbing spread pain once unimaginable

now instantly imaginable, inescapable –


would detonate, a ravenous  force

like a rocket’s expanding, implacable

velocity from an ungodly source


bursting in your head, and you its soon

to be eliminated victim

and killing zone.


A millisecond of earthly time squeezed

into an eternity of pain, in which before, soon,

now, later, are, if you please,


clasped in the unforgiving vice which you

are, and tightening; and calling time off

is off the menu. There isn’t even a chance to


jump, as did those human

projectiles, from their office windows

on 9/11. In Syria, men, women, children


flee in the torn, flayed, thin

shoes of their own

bare skin.


(c) Jack Marshall, 6.26.14