Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fifth July 2012 Selection

Image of Mercy

Image of mercy
her two hands hold a grace
full space
the wind blows her gown around
her stillness
on a shelf in this half-bombed-out apartment
the old woman's
lower lip
these wars are mine
yet not
the white-haired woman in black
is alone in the ruined building 
and there is no signal
to reach her I must drive
from dark path to dark path
pocky ruts, bomb craters, soldiers, debris,
and history block the way
my language is foreign
our enemies' faces are unclear
what I can do 
and what she needs
hurriedly I swallow the rest of my tea
my hands on the steering wheel are still the same hands
holding this wheel      
history trembling
to hold enough history to be able to lay it down
the hands beside me in the car,
gray, taut, with nails full of grit,
the hands loading the truck with food,
deft, large-knuckled, raw,
the hands that flash the signal in the darkness
the hands that axe open the door
the hands that pick through the rubble
may find a broken porcelain image
hands graceful
which might be mended
the wind blows her gown around
her stillness

--Deanna Hopper

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