Gyroscope Review 16-4 - Page 37

DIGNITY OF SLEEP C. MANNONE BY JOHN The teakettle steamed. A blue bowl teetered on the edge of the table, half-full of lentils and rice. He stared at it for most the night, watched it congeal, his eyes still glued on the cold black-and-white paste when they came for him. He took his last sip of hot water with honey. Straggly hair curtained his hard brown eyes; morning sun piercing the glint in them. In and out of shadows, his face washed with shades of blankness. And his mouth, once again too dry to spit at the man chanting prayers. His long shuffle to the scaffold, no longer prolonged by emptiness of night—the sun always climbs faster in the dawn—as fast as a black hood would settle over his head, a new kind of darkness falling. What did he yell into its silence? Indignant epithets, the muffled Shahada mumbling through draped sackcloth? No ashes at his feet. But he must have heard the deafening cries in that darkness sift through dirt, through graves of thousands, to threads hanging next to his ears: all the ghosts of gallows, plaintive wails of spirits of the dead, Kurds massacred —Barzani, Sardasht, Anfal— for a moment, resurrected to jeer at the indignity of their long wait.
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