When, For a Moment, I Grow Weary
When, for a moment, I grow weary
from the endless news reports of bombs
dropping from bleak winter skies
and the faceless tanks nudging their way
through streets clogged with rubble,
I turn my mind instead back to that little girl
cradling her ragged doll at her side, there
in the long silence of the subway tunnel
that for tonight has become her bed.
I want to tell her that everything will be alright,
even if that is another bedtime fable,
to sing to her gently, in her own language,
as I would to my own child, who sleeps
at this moment in a warm tangle of sheets,
mouth agape, dreaming, I imagine,
of flight, and of saving this broken world.
I have not yet found the perfect words
or melody to make this promise happen,
cannot quite decipher my own voice
through a distance as great as this,
this lullaby merely a litany of questions
turning endlessly back upon itself.
Is the lesson simply that we learn no lessons,
that the old names must soon be worn
smooth to make way for the new?
Still, I continue, offering the only comfort
I can summon, the stubborn light of
one still standing, unable to turn away.
by Greg Watson
Editor’s Note: War’s human face is inevitably sorrowful.
Photograph by Christine Klocek-Lim