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.




M.A. Mohanraj