Monday, January 14, 2013

POEM: Elegy


Now the ordinary day begins, though
The graying hours have yet to pass.
I say a prayer: I want to be useful.
But today I will not sing any hymns.

My lungs are stuffed with cotton. I admire
The songs of the serpaphim among us.
I know every one of these songs of heaven.
But grief clings to me, inert as soil. I

Beg for its release, but it’s sewn to my bones.
My tongue is just a sparrow but wants to
Do big things. Pain’s tidal flow has set it  
Adrift in an ocean of suffering.

Watch how light falls on us now, after quiet
Violets offering no resistance
But their gentle fragrance are crushed beneath
Violence’s cracked ice, & purple spills.

The bloody mornings will always remind us.
I want to be useful.  I want to be useful
To engage on the battlefield of love,
To healers, & caregivers, who know these songs.

A child is a promise from our pinkest flesh.
Always willing, we dangle on a hook,
Crying out in recurring boot-black dreams
of a coffin, into moonless nights to come:

“Save my children,
  Save my children,
  Save my children.”

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