Angela Topping

Rookie (2 October 1954 / Widnes, Cheshire)

After The Earthquake

Whether to cry out in answer to
My father’s strangled cries
as he shifts bricks above my head,
or whether to keep silent, holding back
this dust with clamped lips. I lie
sealed in and cannot choose.

If I speak, death will steal my breath
seeping in at the mouth;

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