Place

Remember the magpies

how he nicknamed them

“Orca Whale-bird”

Remember the foxglove 

violet tunnels enclosing 

traveling bees

Remember the deep base notes

of burning bog cut peat 

glowing crimson 

behind cracked glass

Remember our children 

like hobbits, lofted

poking blooming faces

through heart shaped cutouts

Remember the bleeding heart fuchsia 

sheltering over

the yellow hope of buttercups

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

Peace Work

In mourning I awaken

To find the work unraveled

So, I pick up the threads

One, then another

Between finger and thumb

And begin, again

Braiding kindness into the day

One act of peace

A simple decency

A mitzvot

A good deed

One, then another

Weaving a rope of tensegrity

Of compassion

A life line of humanity

Connecting our world

To the Divine