Diana van den Berg

(4 November 1945 / Durban, South Africa)

Rescue Mission


She was caught
between two circles
of razor-wire
above the spikes
on the wall,
the barbed wire
squashing her
on either side
of her neck.
She must have
been trapped
for goodness knows
how long,
speechless,
long-suffering
and suffering long.

I am to blame
that I hadn’t noticed
before.

I carefully pulled
the strong wires
apart
and with such
love and care
I gently pulled her head
through the gap,
careful not to let
the tiny drop of blood
on my middle finger
touch her
and with great relief
it seemed that
the only wound
was that one of her petals
was a little bent.
Her twenty sisters
I am sure
had tried to shout to me
about their sibling’s plight,
but as I sadly
don’t speak, hear
or understand
Aloe arborescens
I hadn’t heard.
I will be sure to
check on her every day
and make sure
that she is recuperating well.

(17 June 2011)

Submitted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
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