Ghazal, November, 2016
Fat flakes of obfuscating snow fall on the land,
disturbing everything, so hard to see or stand.
When I look out my window, trees, cars, doorways,
faces I knew yesterday, I don’t today, don’t understand.
Everything seems so shaky. When I water my plants
they are quaking, fragile stems can barely stand.
Boats in the harbor wait for things to blow over,
but how much furor could they withstand?
How can you know the best way forward when the wind
changes direction many times a day. To move or stand?
The rumble in the basement is insistent,
walls crumbling, the foundations of this building may not stand.
Near the lake I see geese gathering to go, in formation,
like a valiant team rising from the court, making a stand.
Marching with Aylan
I carried a picture of you in a march today
to drive out the Trumpocracy.
I carried your small, drowned body
in my hands,
death-jacket, shorts and velcroed shoes
among the detritus on the beach,
your face and soft hair in the sand,
the waves gently washing over you
like a baby-blanket made of sea.
I can’t tell you what that picture did to me.
You could have been my child, my grandchild, anyone’s child.
I wanted to hold you,
comfort your father
tripled over with grief.
I want the insanity that killed you
to cease, and those responsible
driven from power.
So I marched today carrying your picture,
with your name, Aylan,
beautiful little boy.
And like the water
that washed you up on shore,
face-down, not breathing,
I hope it will carry you
to every corner of the world
where there are human hearts