Against the Wind

When the sky screams balls of red ice
huge as houses
flames, craters, lead pellets
smashed schoolrooms

twisted girders

pieces of arms, legs
broken with blood

there’s nothing to do but run

nothing to do but run

 

When a man teeters on a tight rope

against the wind

invisible above ground zero

when another takes a gun to the world

to places of worship, to schools

spits red death at folks he’s never met

bullets with addresses chosen at random

there’s nothing to do but shake

nothing to do but shake

 

When a woman wakes from a nightmare
and finds that it’s true
hugs her children closer
mends threadbare coats, little hearts

prepares cheese sandwiches with tears,
spits like a cat at intruders

suckles with thin breasts

there’s nothing to do but cry
nothing to do but cry

 

When the wind whips all your pages

lost in the trees
when the rain blurs your words
when your music is cut off in your throat
when questions have no answers in the storm
 

When you rush to gather the papers,
notes, pieces of clay pottery,
embroidery, mosaics,
choreographies of dancing fragments
when you try to write a song
out of the confusion
wrench some crumb of meaning out of the pain

there’s nothing to do but fight
nothing to do but fight

nothing to do

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© Johnmichael Simon

2006

.