The girl child with Down’s
lies in her coffin, serene cherub,
a halo of wild daisies crowns
her hair. Her father cradles her head.
Her mother is on the verge of death
from a missile fueled by mass murderers
who kill at a time when we can see so
deeply into light: galaxies, dying stars,
afterglow from the big bang.
There’s no all-seeing eye atop a pyramid,
no great judge to sentence these lovers of lies
who murder us while we sleep, no savior
holding as much as a ticket to be punched
or a bag to be stowed, no thin breath of
prayer to rapture anyone away, the good
or the evil. So, eat your fast food, buy
a gun, watch television, hide online, post
your hate and remember your thoughts
and prayers and the beautiful child
in her coffin, more serene than all the great
princes of this world who lie in silk beds,
no thin breath of prayer to save them.
Ukraine, The Borderland, staring down
a thousand steely bores, orphaned then
fostered, orphaned again, its rusted wires
weave through a false spring of wild daisies,
like barbs in a withering heart.
by William R. Stoddart
Editor’s Note: This poem’s imagery juxtaposes beauty with death and destruction because humanity’s paradox is our ability to exist within that liminal state.