The echoes of thunder bring in the murmurings.
Fearful eyes casting glances to mirages
flitting from shadow to shadow.
Someone says they knew this day was coming,
it was written in a thousand scriptures.
The chosen ones meet on the village green,
by the cross that commemmorates the last to leave.
Beneath the shade of a centuries-old oak,
they decide who gets to live and who must die to keep the balance.

Families sit anxiously in living rooms.
The thunder comes closer.
The thunder gets louder.
The children cry a bit more.

It starts to rain, snapping the tension.
Angry people flood into the street
and make for the green,
where the chosen ones have almost decided.
The villagers arm themselves with whatever's at hand
and attack beneath that old oak,
the witness of a millennium of bloodletting.
The blood flows into the rain
into the river
into the sea
and transcends emotion.
A hoarse voice decrees that we have given up on traditions,
yesterday's hearsay.
There is no more space for the god of the gaps to breathe.

The thunder gets louder.
Nature holds no traditions,
it just does.
She came along and washed those people away.
There's no one left to erect a new cross in their memory,
just an anonymous hand from another land
penning an elegy for a place he never knew.