Things that shouldn't exist
in the same world: the scent
of lilacs in bloom and the stench
of the "skunk water" I read about
on Facebook this morning.
I sit on my mirpesset, surrounded
by green: trees in leaf, willows
trailing graceful fringes, pots
of oregano, rosemary, mint.
So tranquil I could forget
global pandemic still rages,
India's cremation sites burning
around the clock. I could forget
bombs, rockets, mortar shells,
bereaved parents and orphaned children.
Once I start the list, it's hard
to stop. Uighurs in internment camps,
migrant children stripped
from their parents... more griefs
than grains of sand beside the sea.
Bereaved: from Old English bereafian,
to take away by violence. Mostly used
these last few centuries "in reference
to life, hope, loved ones,
and other immaterial possessions."
Immaterial, and essential.
I want to look away.
I can't look away.
If I forget you, humanity,
let my words unlearn how to flow.
Mirpesset. Hebrew for balcony. See ba-shanah ha-ba'ah.
India's cremation sites. See 'Death is the only truth:' Watching India's Funeral Pyres Burn (NYT).
Uighurs in internment camps. See Their goal is to destroy everyone (BBC). Please heed the disturbing content warning at the top of the article.
Migrant children / stripped from their parents. See Migrants separated from their children will be allowed in the US (NYT).
[I]n reference to life... See bereave (v).
If I forget you... See Psalm 137.