After the March

On the curb

In a drug induced stupor

She sits

Curled over the baby

Inside

I know this much

Because of her sign

 

In front

Of an OTR restaurant

Two feet from the alfresco diners

On the street

Hell, it’s sixty-five degrees

in January

 

The hubbub drones

Over microbrews

In chairs rented hourly

With the Visas and Am Ex cards

Tucked tightly into wallets

 

She appears to be

Dying a slow death without notice

It makes me wonder

How’s that baby fairing inside

Is he suffering the same

Addicted to whatever pounds through her veins

 

Yesterday our newly elected

Buffoon, royal groper extraordinaire

Began the domino effect

Insuring her fate and the baby’s

Will not be unique

 

The very reason I’m downtown

Is over dosing at my feet

While onlookers

The privileged

Stuff burgers into their faces

 

I give her what I have

Several tuna sandwiches

Half a dozen granola bars

Three bottles of water

 

I touch her arm

She lifts her head and thanks me

Her eyes are blue

Aleppo

I have eyes to see

In technicolor, the world bleeds

intimately into the streets

they run red

while I swallow waves of grief

with my Sunday morning, coffee

Imagining an era

when video was absent

a doomed man’s final pleas for peace

posted on social media

impossible

A time when photos were black and white

flattening out reality

between folds on newspaper print

tempering the horror

lessening my shame

It is helplessness I feel

watching a boy my son’s age

cradling his brother’s lifeless body

as if…as if there existed enough love

the baby would take another breath

I cry

it’s all I can do

the very least

we can do

I struggle with not wanting to see

bearing witness to this atrocity

it sears through me

my day of privilege

hasn’t even begun

There are presents to buy

doctor’s appointments to keep

all the food and water easily tapped

to consume, a spoil of riches

A day without imminent fear

where it will rain from the sky

not bullets from a gun

not mortar shells meant

to obliterate my precious family

my beloved friends

I watch

as a mother mourns her daughter’s death

she wails, tears and blood meet on her cheeks

‘My daughter my rock’, she cries

‘Why do you leave me’

she laments over her daughter’s body

My daughter is my rock

she too will leave me soon

for college

she wants to stay close enough

to come home for Friday night Shabbat

I confess

I hope to never know

what pain is ripping through her heart

I admit, I want to scoop up all the children

carry them to safety

feed them, mother them

like any well-meaning suburban American white woman should

I am not brave

I am not there escorting souls

out of this hell

I am removed, but for these

saturated headlines

of what is happening in a place

so far away spinning

spot on my globe

Aleppo

what have we done

Refuge

Image

When inside

becomes too much

and not enough

I hunt airspace

finding my balance

under stars

where the oxygen freely flows

in ample supply

under the night sky

my anxiety unwinds itself

reminding my fears

how small they really are

reminding my heart

how full it really is

as I cast my eyes upward

the celestial sky

drops its veil

peering back at me

blinking its thousand

silent eyes