to say, I am still alive,
my hope not crushed?
to stand with others, like and unlike,
to harmonize however poorly,
to count the wild rhino brethren,
to unlearn the language of the regime
for the gestures of mercy and succor,
for the strong silence of the sequoia,
to join the children huddled in the cubbies
(there is a gunman on the lot)
to draw ewers of water tainted with lead
(there is no anointment)
to braid a girl’s hair with a filament of silver
(to catch the light)
to bake loaves and loaves of bread,
let it rise and fill the air with yeasty breath.
It is not my job to make the damage beautiful,
but I will sing as long as I am alive.