and did we not see?

by: Claire Sorrenson


file photo

and did we not see?



…and did we not grow weary

of building the greatest wall

man had ever known?

did our shoulders not seize,

did our mouths not fill with grit,

did we never cast down our tools

and say, “now I shall attend to my own garden?”


and did we not awaken sweat-drenched,

eyelids scrubbed raw by dreams

in which we swam through an ocean of corpses

at the base of our great wall—

belly-up, eyes still protesting the indignity of death?


and did we not feel through thickness

the warmth of palm laid to stone,

the pulse of hearts identical to our own?


and did we not heed the call

of ten thousand leaf-like tongues:

“turn back, fools,

turn back,

you have come this way before?”


and did we not see

before the final stone was set

the sealed doors,

the no-way-out,

the glorious trap?


we did not—

we did not—


time dash us all to dust.



Claire Sorrenson

Claire Sorrenson

Claire Sorrenson is a writer and small business owner living in Durham, NC. She helps people celebrate their loved ones with handcrafted books full of stories and original artwork. You can find more of her work on her website or Instagram.


Clarion Content

Clarion Content is a Durham-based online magazine that curates and creates the thriving culture that gives our city its identity. Our community building is only as strong as our collective contributions. Our team of curators welcomes your comments, suggestions, and concerns. We are open to all points of view, especially those that challenge and therefore stimulate our own. We also encourage reader submitted material as well as guest columnists. See something cool, outrageous, outlandish, or important? Have a great cause? Send us a note or stop by our offices at the Mothership, 401 West Geer Street inside the MotorCo complex.

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