Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2, 2010 Inshallah


(for Ellie)

See you soon I tell her

as I bend to kiss her cheek.

God willing she says at the door.

The ride in the convertible makes her hair stand

at attention so she looks taller.

But, framed in the window, she looks small,

fragile like old china.

She, who joined the army as a teen,

took up guns and ammo and bombs,

who watched walls and buildings disintegrate

and families disperse like seeds on the wind.

She came to us from a world of no tomorrows

with strength, faith, hope,

instincts of a hungry animal.

She no longer smells the sharpness

of gunpowder on her hands, but she sees

trails of tears left by those who disappeared.

Tonight we have come from her 80th birthday

a party where generations celebrated her,

ate, sang and danced like there was no tomorrow.

As she waves goodbye from the window,

I know that she knows

one day her tomorrow won’t come

-- perhaps unexpectedly like the heart attack

that stole her husband.

I watch for the light to go on

the curtains to close

god willing I whisper to myself.

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