Can’t Watch This

When I saw today’s Daily Prompt called, Cant Watch This, I figured this would be a good opportunity to post a poem I wrote not too long ago. The poem is called “Waiting In My Chamber” which was inspired by a few events I had the misfortune of witnessing growing up in a gang-infested area in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. I left the area seven months ago and ever since then, whenever I try writing something new, a poem or a short story, it seemed to revolve around my hometown, like a subconscious itch that was screaming, “Scratch me now!”  This is the first piece I wrote after moving away and is written from a rather unique perspective:

Waiting in my the chamber

By Torieq Arendse


Waiting in my chamber for that deafening sound

Through the barrel I catch a glimpse of people frantically running around

Anxiety builds as I hear, “The target’s been found!”

Waiting in my chamber to be sent hell-bound


The trigger sounds rough, not crisp at all

I hear it creaking and rattling as we run and duck behind walls

Anxiety builds as I hear, “Today you will fall!”

Waiting in the chamber to shock and appal


The safety is off, now by the trigger I abide

I hear frantic mothers screaming, “Children hurry, come inside!”

Anxiety builds as the single action slides

Waiting in my chamber ready to glide


The air reeks of gunpowder and subdued fear

The index finger reaches for the trigger, my time draws near

Anxiety reaches climax as the trigger pull I hear

Propelled from the chamber; my target’s unclear!


Travelling at 400 meters per second, everything is a blur

My target missed… Where now I wonder

Lodged in a door, the ground or piercing a dog’s fur?

No! My full metal jacket is now worn by her


An innocent little girl, in her uniform so smart.

I ruined it all as I pierced her white school shirt and met her young heart

She was playing with her brother pushing him in a cart

My deadly trajectory has forever torn them apart



It seems so surreal it all happened so fast

One moment laughing, the next faced down in the grass

She is a bright young girl; top of her class

Today is her 9th birthday and also her last.


I found a new chamber; this one her heart provides

Blood rushing from her wound; her pulse imitates a receding tide

Her little brother stands over us, he never leaves her side

As his sister’s right to life is woefully denied


Now I’m waiting in her chamber, together we are bound

I feel her heartbeat weaken as she lay curled up on the ground

Anxiety builds as I hear “Bring the ambulance around!”

She’s not breathing, not moving, not making sound.