Poetry

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,

eliminates.

 

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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