I think of Falah’s sister in Iraq
who lost her husband, her four children,
affectionate daughters, proud sons. I think
of her empty hands, her empty house
that is no longer a home,
and I pray.
I think there will always be wars,
cities will fracture, borders that cancel
villages, meadows and olive trees,
have their own journey,
and I pray.
I think of how one country is defined
by a sword, another by pylons
and cranes. Valleys split apart, slopes
collapse and wounds open.
Both are conquerors.
And I pray.
I think of my aunt’s story, how
her mother gave her to my grandmother
as she charted her own path,
how when my aunt became a woman,
her husband married her for money
and mistreated her.
Yet she had a life, she was beautiful,
the light shone inside her.
We all have lives, the gift of time.
I pray that I may understand all that keeps
us apart, that we may learn to call each other
sister and brother, that we may learn
how the earth belongs to everyone.
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