Thursday, September 16, 2010

On the Day a Five-Year-Old was Raped, Murdered, and Left in the Wilderness

Reading my old poems, searching for poems of love for my book of love poems, I came across some poems of mine that I had forgotten and the touched me. Reading them it is like trying to touch a stranger, even as the stranger was once in my skin. This skin sags more, but as I remember this poem about when I learned about a horrible act, I relive how frustrated I was in the face of overwhelming evil. I still feel overwhelmed in the face of evil

On the Day a Five-Year-Old was Raped, Murdered, and Left in the Wilderness

How we drown in a waterless city. Little girls play
here. They will become bored uncertain teens sunning themselves
by concrete ponds. The males move through this city’s pollution

looking. Lord, we live in a panting place, despairing
the beginning. Life seems to stall until our death. Trying
to hold on only to the next generation of children

who will merely see the Milky Way as tourists, we stay
a stranger. To creation, to our life, to the carriers of our genes,
to each other, to ourselves, to the promise, to all this we cry.

And it all dries to grime that coats our cars, corroding
the exposed metal. What is to be said to her mother? Who can
pay such a cost? Helpless, we need your judgment to slap

our face with ice water, we need to wake up. This death
cannot be celebrated. We need your report of devotion
to rain upon us, to bind us. We need the washing down

of our air to ease our breath. We need you
to pronounce the “good.” News moves
past us on our technological screens. Untouched,

we offer opinions, suppositions, and ignore. Our police
beat up a black teen, and we wait for a piece that will explain
her pain. The spirit washes. Then we complain, “Where are you?”

Where are we? Drowning in our dust, we stall. Call us back.
Lord, send a fire to devour our strongholds. Shower
us. Make us weak, again. Make us live, again.

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