A Poem for November 13, 2015

This past week, with the various tragedies that occurred all over the globe, will be remembered with sadness. My heart breaks for the enormous loss of life that so many have witnessed and that so many more will mourn. This time of year is usually when I find poetry more suited for expressing the ideas swirling around in my mind, so I wrote a poem for the day that Paris went dark. My thoughts have been focused on Paris because it is a place where I have walked some of the streets, seen the faces of the people who call it home. I wrote this poem for them, but also for the people in Beirut, and for all of the people who have lost loved ones to tragedy.

November 13, 2015

I dream

and dream of another autumn,

when the trees and I were younger.

 

Every mark across my skin

set me trembling—

how fragile,

how delicate were my defenses.

 

Hurt spoken,

unspoken,

acted,

unacted,

so easily carved in the bark,

tapping at the warmer life within

and wanting to watch it drip away.

 

At every brush,

careless scar,

and deliberate bruise,

wishes poured out,

and tears, too.

Both to grow a future

when every etching might be

borne with a stronger bark,

and limbs firm enough to hold

both larks and ravens.

 

I awake

and wake to an autumn night

when the trees and I lay pieces of ourselves

whispering along the path of wanderers.

 

Leaves,

prayers

for the lost,

for those losing—

what we can give

when we feel the scars

in our own bark.

 

Leaves to the ground

and I to my knees,

whisper

hope,

 

cry

heartbreak,

 

whisper

hope,

 

growl

injustice,

 

whisper

hope,

 

weep

loss,

 

whisper

hope.

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