When I look upon the suffering

In Afghanistan, a widow

receives my monthly stipend,

a small apology as I monitor

my intake

of news, post a cheque

but can’t stomach

the photos.


My widow’s daughters,

swathed in black,

don’t attend school,

they’re shadowed

even in the marketplace

by the insistent drone –


a Reaper, navigated

by a pilot in the desert

of Nevada, who watches

and with a joystick,



At five pm, she clocks out,

roars off in her SUV, picks up

her kids at day care,

fixes supper, tucks them

into bed and crumples undercover

of her own darkness.


I lounge at the beach in full view

of a cloudless sky, fluke of providence –


yet impressed into sand,

my bones, shrouded

by the weight of war,

cry out to the Heavens – Fix this!


Can it be

we're not broken but whole,

not drowning but safe?


Did Mary suffer, knowing as she did,

each wound her child would bear? And yet –


she said yes, to the angel,

yes, to all of it.



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