8. Lorna Dee

Poem for the Fifth Anniversary (And one year after you)

I’m hearing surf in the traffic,
a constant that reminds me of you.
A single passing in the dark
madrugada, this stillness
dripping city before the gunnings
and get aways resume.

I caught you in the updraft,
uplifted. Can’t say, let down.

While all around, Babylon is falling,
a constant rain over the plains,
a plain hunger and an aggressive counting,
the military budget adding another coffin
to the mix, another fine spray
of brains in Iraq. The helicopters fly
over the rooftops of this nation —
the ever-sighting unto Paradise,
the explosive way home.

I want to pass now, into another
dream, hold a first class box
to my next life opera, be the head
soprano; comfort. Love, I want
to comfort the dead. One million
two hundred thousand dead
in this undeclared war—a dispersion
of traffic, an oil slick on water.
No sign of slowing down.

You want to wake
from this nightmare?
It takes more than a vote,
more than an enterprise,
than austere suits and a pen,
more than a grave
or the well-filled gravy
boat, more than caring.

Every root taps. Every seed waits
or wakes up.

3/20/08