Prayer for a Lost Spring
Two weeks left of the semester
and all I want to do is disappear.
Shovel up the winter mulch
plant daylilies and dahlias for summer.
Today the sun warmed a windy spring day;
I worked in a neglected bed with hands
and back, and forgot about a young man
in a hospital bed, his throat torn open,
writing answers to official questions.
Last night, I startled awake at two a.m.
from a nightmare; my young son
was being tortured in front of me;
his eyes taped open -- I will spare you
the rest. All I could do was hold him,
waiting to see what they did to us next.
Tonight, the children are restless; one
wakes, howling for a moment. Her ear
hurts. Acetaminophen and hugs
are enough to console her, for now.
They are still small, and we have told
them nothing of lost limbs, lost lives,
blood spattered across a finish line.
And still, like us, they cannot sleep.
We are all waiting for summer to come.
This year, this spring, has been too hard.
Crocuses and muscari seem fragile
against heavy clay, struggling through
decaying leaf-mold. We are all waiting
for quiet days of peace and sunshine.