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Remember when we did as we pleased?
Now we’re wrinkled, gray, and diseased
With Rage that crushes any caring heart,
And drops us low to our knees—
There is no succor or understanding
For respite or for relief for any parents’ pleas.
Why do we think ourselves
Into such boxes of darkness
Into that snare of ever wrong turns?
To put down hard roots
Into a never loved land,
Grasping, with our heart that burns—
Another lost kite strung over a high tree,
Another lost thing we swore to safe keep—
Living a clueless life beyond what we hear or see;
As now I lay me down to sleep?

–Amberly Alexis Barnett’s body was found in an undisclosed location early Saturday morning hours after authorities began searching for the 11-year-old, who was last seen at her aunt’s house in Mt. Vernon, Ala.

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There Was That Tear That Refused To Fall

There was once that tear that refused to fall
It lingered long but turned deaf to gravity’s call
A hospice someone had thanked and departed
Seems the end can be a long time before it is started

Instructions passed calmly for our nurse erstwhile
Morphine administered to salve a torment febrile
Half, then, quarter, then, tenth of breaths short taken
The daughter was only too aware though rudely shaken

Why did God allow such stupid pain to tartly linger?
Cannot God wave it all away with a half-crooked finger?
The line is that it is not ever ours to even wonder
At the lithe petal that can mock the mighty thunder

Mother then at long last breathed her living last
And son and daughter became bereaved newly-cast
And that tear that just would not suffer to fall
Was joined in torrents heeding mourning’s pall
A history written and rewritten for the to-be-departed
Seems the end can be a long time before it’s even started

A Wind, Promiscuous

A freshening wind
Promiscuously winds down the creek
Orange-black cat darts under the eaves
Two dead branches low as if to speak

A door squeaks, opens
The firmament is shaken
The cat shrieks
LIGHTS BLINK THEN ALL IS BLACK

It matters
A grin, a dripping of red pools
Fluttering wings escape
How does the future shape
Our dreams, if only ‘if only’ were so
Old and 60 and alone
Alone

A raining morning
Turn around
Floods in Wimberley
One dead, two missing
Happiness cancelled
Rescheduled for a drier time
Happy All Saints’ Eve

Peshawar

Come, come away to Peshawar
How can God be great?
141 lying, dead, there—
Does blood lust ever sate?

I believe, you believe,
But we believe different things—
Whose God is the right one?
Do we follow imams, priests or kings?

Go, go down to Peshawar
Do we bury Hope along with the dead?
Do these souls Archangel Michael credit or debit?
Is there not a better accounting instead?

You believe, I believe
Though played to a different chord
But, for God’s sake, please remember:
Leave vengeance to the Lord.

Weep, weep old Peshawar
Take time for sorrow for all fathers and mothers
And after the last anguished tear falls
We all will still be sisters and brothers