April 2, 2018

erinys

maybe today
i am dusted with shed feathers
and spitting out bones.
maybe i have seen
another mother
disheveled, red-eyed,
clothes wrinkled from long hours
curled in a hard chair
by the bed
of one dying too young,
too suddenly,
and needlessly.
maybe my own eyes
are red with anger
and grief
and it makes you
turn away
don't.
don't dare.
you need to see.
if you have not seen
a loved child
in a forest of tubes
and pulsing lights
slowly leaving
that watching woman,
if you have not stood
coffin-side with those
saying farewell to a girl,
looking hard at her folded hands
and not--oh, god, not--
at her shattered skull,
if you haven't seen this
you should
so you can know
just what the unthinking, lie-fed,
worship of guns,
of phrases,
of money,
really costs.
i can tell you
what any mother knows,
that a child's life,
any child's life,
is worth more
than anything you set
in the balance against it.
don't turn away.
don't dare to look away.
don't.
there are bones in my throat
and there should be bones
sharp as claws,
in yours.

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