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

Trail Closed

Image

The bridge isn’t sound
The one we traversed
A hundred times before
The sign is posted
We’ve been warned
And now a new path
Has been roughed in
One of soft mud
Tender earth
Virgin soil
We are sure to emerge muddy
Should we choose this
Over what we know
Our well worn
Unstable bridge
That one day
Is sure to give way
Under the weight
Of our stubbornness

Change

Today is lavender
It is hovering between
Purple and gray
It is new information
Going to seed
In my flooded brain

Today is quiet confusion
A peaceful chaos
A jigsaw puzzle spread out
On New Year’s Day
Begin at the corners

Today is born new
With stale edges
We will soon slice away
When we find a moment
Safe for cutting

Today I think of him
How the unbelievable blue
Of his eyes
Held me
How he closed his laptop
And turned his body
Toward mine

Today we are aware
Of our drift
The movement shift
That is always present
Though so rarely perceived
Until we turn toward the shore
And discover we have moved
Hundreds of yards
And thousands of hours
From where we once were
Before…today

Ode To The Mouse

Ode to the mouse
At the bottom of my recycling bin
It must have been the cold night
That stole your little life
Or was it the headfirst dive
You took inside
The hard plastic bin

Was there comfort for you
Curled against the weekly coupon circular
Did you chill inside your silvery grey fur
Until you could feel no more
Only God’s hand lifting you
To a sunny field
Full of wild grass
And cousins galore

As I stood
Shaking you from the bin
Into the English ivy you spilled
I held in my heart
A tiny prayer
For a rodent resurrection
Surely by spring
You will bloom
And climb with life
Within the divine ivy vine

But until then
Rest your tiny mouse feet
In peace
Free of the felines
Who prowl next-door