Copy and Paste condolences

The residents of __________________ need our love,
in this time of unavoidable tragedy,
if only the sky would open itself
like a great swan unfurling its wings
to swaddle the grieving
and protect them from the rain,
the thunder and storm of their own
unburdened sobs.

We send our thoughts and prayers to them,
the buoys bobbing, lonesome and jettisoned
in the rough waves of this tiresome wake.
Let them be calmed by the notion
that loneliness is an illusion
in the absence of concern,
while our hearts carry their hearts
like hot air balloons gathering stones
in tethered baskets
until too heavy to float.

These stones are hardened eggs
warmed by the sun,
and this is a cycle of catch and release,
of nature and nurture,
of wound and suture and scar,
the abused given new life
in the afterbirth of pain,
hatching from sorrow stronger than before
with haunted eyes remembering the wind
and how it carried them away
from everything hidden beneath the sea,
hot air balloons once again free to soar
and look for more lost souls to rescue.

Perhaps it’s too much to ask
that we forget what happened here
knowing what blood tomorrow holds
like a vein in a palm
that closes upon a fistful of glass,
the shattered remnants of a non-violent future,
the window we broke believing
it was the only way to breathe the air.

This poem appears in the manuscript SECOND AMENDMENT PASTORAL.

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Provocative truth teller, author of 14 poetry collections. Cat dad. Dog dad. Currently working from Portland, Oregon. Learn more at:

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