The Slave Chain
By Jessica Reilly, 5th Year
The darkness of the ship’s hull engulfs
Like the coffin it’s inevitably leading to.
Bodies everywhere, dead or alive
I can no longer tell the difference.
The ship lurches on stormy seas
The chain around my neck biting deeper.
Rattle, crunch. The metal snake chokes me,
Then releases me, denying me the peace of death.
Remembering, my mother’s desolate eyes as
Chained like dogs, the white men
Marched us through our plundered town.
If only the scene could be unseen.
The days and nights are indistinguishable,
No food, no water, just rats everywhere.
Their tiny claws scurrying all over,
Sometimes nibbling, checking your still alive.
The stench of sickness and rotting corpses
Overpowers the senses,
Leaving those still conscious
In a constant state of nausea.
The moans of my people so close to death
Are silenced by the landing of the ship.
A land of thieves awaits us,
Thieves who have stolen our lives.