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Sat Jun 1, 2013, 10:08 AM

Poems on Kindness in a Time of War

clench


when i learned that my son was dead
something clenched deep inside
though my face made no change
except maybe a twitch under my left eye

i saw my wife collapse on the kitchen floor
all the bones of her body gone
but i could not move to help her
not until the twitch under my eye let me

in the days that followed my eye grew calm
and unreality moved about me
i swam inside it like the sea
neither warm nor cool nor shallow nor deep

my wife formed bones again strangely stiff
i could almost feel them pushing my hands away
a hard ghost stood between us now
his touch too much to bear

a closed coffin built by anotherís hands
mocked the tools skills and material
i knew well what my son knew
the better craftsman than his father

when the builder builds he asks not why
his imagination too narrow to see
that the building will eventually fall
and another builder build again

the creator creates us finite and weak
our struggle so great we need no help
in discovering new ways to die
so rages my mind

my son one of many in the foreign place
one of many fallen into whose hands
of the many families who grieve
who can never unclench again

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