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Saturday, July 11, 2015


by Sandra Sidman Larson

The bodies of dozens of victims of the Srebrenica massacre are being taken back to the Bosnian town for burial. The killing of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in July 1995 by Bosnian Serb troops was the worst massacre in Europe since World War Two. A service to bury 136 newly-identified victims will take place on Saturday, 20 years to the day since the massacre began. Another 6,241 victims have already been identified. —BBC News, July 9, 2015

Place of silver,
place of bullets,
place of silver bullets.
Silently they tread dusty roads,
silently they climb into flatbed trucks,
silently they arrive at the wayside of their slaughter.

Place of silver,
place of bullets,
place of silver bullets.
Into the backs of young men and boy’s heads, the pop, pop
     of silver bullets.
Into shallow roadside graves they are dumped,
their corpses shoveled over.

Place of silver,
place of bullets
place of silver bullets.
Under the ground of history they are stacked,
            full of silver bullets,
another layer of bodies silently compressed
and we are left to harvest what will arise from this.

Sandra Sidman Larson, twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, has three chapbooks to her credit: Whistling Girls and Cackling Hens, Over a Threshold of Roots, (both Pudding House Press Publications) and Weekend Weather: Calendar Poems.  Recognized as a full-length manuscript finalist for the 2013 Lost Horse Press’ Idaho Prize for Poetry and the 2015 Trio House Press Trio Award, she was also a semi-finalist in the 2015 Concrete Press’ chapbook competition. Her poetry has been published in many venues such as the Atlanta Review, Grey Sparrow, Earth’s Daughters, and The New Verse News. She has been active in the social justice movement through her long career and over the years has attempted to use poetry as a way to communicate both political and personal concerns and aspirations. Holding an MSW, Sandra managed nonprofit organizations for a career, and, as a poet, she is an active member of The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and is currently hoping to see her manuscript, Distance in My Hands, published one of these days.