Battered, flooded, toppled, windblown
Marooned, dusted, drenched,
Abandoned, deserted, voiceless, stunned.
A world for a moment still.
Then rise, limping, bleeding,
Eyes filled with dust, standing uncertain on shifting earth —
Where are the mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers?
Is that light? A voice?
Hardhats, plastic buckets, hands held skyward.
Blankets, make-shift beds, hands in prayer,
A million water bottles scattered.
We have stood on these piles before,
The places we have fallen.
Oklahoma City, trade centers, Mosul, Miami, New Orleans, Washington.
Houston, Rockport, Detroit, Montgomery, Paris, London, Madrid, Mexico City.
What we build will fall.
Lessons in the rubble, flashing floods, the muddy destruction.
There might be a cry, a whimper, a tapping.
What we do to hate is crushed.
What we do for love rises.