Thursday, December 3, 2015

One a Day (Poem)

In sadness, and because we keep a list that shows us the average is more than one a day. And because I've already written too many poems like this.

One a Day

We map them—
those pockets of bloodied space
between California valleys, upon snow-covered fields

Colorado's small towns, Europe's bigger cities—
name anywhere
where the roads take us in

without letting us out
with a prayer no god
will answer.

It just takes four or more down
to make the list, to know
what's happened since yesterday.

Cellphones keep up their ringing
and on Boulevard Voltaire
the stems of weeks-old flowers snap

in the cold we feel
all the way to San Bernardino.
We make the average:

one a day, day after day. Let us
then record the boy
going for bread in Aleppo

the Jew on the bus in Tel Aviv
the torn hijab blown
into harbor past the rocks on Lesbos

the little children in Newtown—

can you remember how
they waved goodbye
that morning?—

never forgetting the words to the carols
we're rehearsing to sing.

2015 © Maureen E. Doallas