Morning, I am slow waking in your patient light—

it is so difficult to write to that future which none of us
can see, and harder still sometimes to find the right voice

for addressing what they said was only the wind,
or unborn generations disguised as distant foothills;
nothing more menacing than landscape or weather,

hope like the legend of a country ready to be
colonized by benevolence, if not for a revolution
that spread like wildfire up and down the coast.

I told my daughter the story of the general’s wife;
how she took up his cause after he fell in battle,
how she was captured. And she paused, considering

the grave weight of sacrifice; or more precisely,
the little heft one body signifies against the tide.
Closer at hand, night brings shrouds of phantoms

into view and they are everything we’ve come to know
so intimately from daily life— The stolen words, the lies
of men of state; their bland oblivion to what they see

only as the tedium of pedestrian suffering.
And we may be slow, as slow as morning
that forgives so much as it begins to trace

the circle over again: so much like history,
so much like what repeats as many times
as it will take, until it finds the break.


In response to small stone (145).

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