Sonnet for Grief

​~ “Counting the Killings: 20,000 and Rising,” The Manila Times, 24 April 2018

The Enemy’s hands are many— reaching
through our doorways, aiming a finger
or the barrel of a gun and taking without
permission. It rides away from every murder
scene astride a motorcycle, as though it were
some god on a mission: masked coward dressed
in fatigues or flak jacket, assassin for cheap hire.
As though it weren’t enough to take away our jobs,
children, partners, The Enemy orchestrates elaborate
schemes to justify its insatiable hunger: it buys itself
more drugs, more guns, more goons, more profits. More
deaths = more reach, more power. The only arms that hold
and rock us now are those of Grief: Mother of all sorrows,
hands reaching to gather another close as she keens.

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