February 7, 2023

Cairo Calling by Rebecca Fielding


This trembling world
Rocking back and forth
Hanged by the immovable
Fear of its impossible history.
News stokes the fire of the day
In a tarnished memory display
Fragile and casual, left on
This, our crumbling mantle.

Dust conceals the frantic heave
Of bodies united and free,
The corners of the square
Hold the swell with welcome ease
And they gather quietly to see
If they will be counted.
Or maybe just to say –
We are here and here we stay.

We watch from the safety bay
And blush with arms-length pride,
Bestowed upon us by headlines
Read to us in newsreader rhyme.
The them-and-us of this free world
Lost amidst the guilt appeals
To ‘help an orphaned child’,
A phrase of white-tongued ideals.

The world trembles and applauds as
They shake and rattle the history cage.
They multiply before they are betrayed
Until there are too many to count.
And Molotov cocktails crudely spray
The front page spread of this freedom day.
Our face contorts  – we are horrified
Yet not dignified or humbled, or afraid.

Cairo is wild and wounded and yet
Caught in the net that set them free.
And power fades with glory days
So this fragile mantle crumbled and
Heads hold high towards the sky
Wide eyed, they cry – faith alive;
For they are dazed on insecurity
Paused between brave and free.

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