Collateral Damage

It was a summer of sprung planks and loosened rivets,  
of riven floors and stopped clocks; the twinge in a shoulder
reminding you of the recurrence of pain. It was again
a murderous season: that season of unnecessary deaths, 
of cruel indifference. Repair was a gate that sagged 
at the bottom and scraped the earth in the same place
with each swing. Chaplets of roses grew threadbare 
like linen; all night a bee drowsed as if stoned on the edge 
of an ivory blanket. What else crept under carpets of clover 
toward our trim hedges? Every night we went to bed 
like apostrophes folded into each other. That is to say, 
even in sleep our hands spasmed in terror or prayer. 
Call it anything but casualty, accident, or fate
— none of us grown wiser for turning away.

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