Michael Mintrom lives in Melbourne. He has recently published poetry in various literary journals including Cordite, The Drabble, Ekphrastic Review, Meniscus, Quadrant, Rabbit Poetry, and takahē. He is a past winner of the University of Canterbury's MacMillan Brown Prize for Writers.
The Torture Deaths
It's a small city, European in aspect,
evoking the history of Barcelona.
There are many ethnicities on the trams,
and musicians gather at intersections,
singing and playing in groups of three.
I don't have all the languages,
but the music seems mostly religious,
sometimes ecstatic, more typically
lamentation. Inside a courtyard,
off to visit old friends, cutting
under a verandah, there I saw it.
The frieze of brass plaques marking the dead,
those who succumbed to torture. Names,
plus a few words, e.g. "quartered, with infants (2)."