Lamentation

forest, mist

Aging’s, sometimes, akin to my standing in a valley,
first, surveying a garden, barren,
then looking up to the hilltop –
each day, just a bit farther away –
gazing at the ever-more-distant trees,
standing tall, reverent, unbowed, unbent,
the wind rustling through their leaves,
arriving
(chilling my wrinkled flesh)
upon my ear as children’s voices,
filled with mirth,
youthful, hopeful;
the sound of ones who have yet to know life’s norm of storms.

Thinking of them
heightens my happiness for them,
though, sometimes, I lament for myself:
“O, to be young again!
O, to be blessed, possessed of
unbroken ideals,
unfettered imagination,
immeasurable potential,
elastic muscle
and energy;
fit and ready for any possibility!”

Then, sometimes, I think,
nowadays, all day,
of children of lands whose life’s norm is the storm
of broken society’s lawless threat and harm
of bruised bodies,
bloated bellies,
and battered, broken families.

eye, suffering child

I think of these babies,
some surviving not their childhoods,
others barely surviving, merely existing,
though living, no longer aging,
for their ideals, shattered are unborn,
their imaginations torn,
chained to memories of unimaginable horrors…

Thinking of them
deepens my lamentation for them
and broadens my reflection: “What can I, must I do for them?”
and crucifies my vain sorrowing for me.

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