The Solitude of the Dead

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The picture said it all
harking back to
what auden had written
about the nature
of suffering—
how it can take place
“While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along”

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the cab driver who
took me home after
another chilly
night of planning
meetings
almost hit
the brakes
when he overheard
on the radio
how the lifeless
children were
laid on
the road
their broken
bodies still
uncovered

but he had a customer,
a passenger
who just wanted
to get home quick
& weep in her
own solitude

but he was moved,
oh how he was,
down to his very guts,
the father that he is,
even how he counted
our fair city in the North
lucky for its exemption
from this endless thread of
catastrophes

strange how the branches
of pine trees
are being pushed
upwards by
november’s winds
on this the day
of worship

they almost look like
hands and arms
rising in supplication

please please
not another calamity
not another tragedy

can this
seemingly cursed
country of
petty tyrants
and grander thieves
bear another?

how like a tree
i sometimes
want to be
stolid unmoved
impassively
watching
a view

no matter
what it is

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