I Cry for his Loss

i cry for the card, for his loss,
 for his Iraqi-Syrian past,
 for all the burning hours of summer school
 where he committed himself
 to finishing high school in three years.
 
 i cry for his words, for his loss,
 his inescapable self that has hidden
 a kind face in a chaotic classroom,
 his sly smile catching my every
 snuck-in witty remark
 (even when no one else could).
 
 i cry for the system, for his loss,
 shuffled by our government’s wars
 between homelands that stole his home,
 for his pride in Iraqi architecture
 that he may never see again.
 
 i cry for his future, for his loss,
 for how unequivocally kind his soul remains
 after all he has witnessed in twenty-one years,
 for his brothers who wait under his watchful shadow,
 for our country to give him a chance.
 
 i cry for his words, for my loss,
 to not have his presence in my classroom,
 to have the nicest thing anyone’s
 ever written to me
 disappear with a graduation ceremony.
 
 i cry for the world, for their loss,
 for robbing refugees of their rights,
 for keeping the beauty that is him,
 that is within all of them,
 from sharing their strength
 with all of us, inshallah,
 for a brighter tomorrow.
 

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Peaked

cancellation brings:
 clouds and mountain views, fresh snow
 (and my youngest joins)
 
 family is family.
 no matter what they all say
 (or my inner voice)
 
 with family: mountains
 we would be afraid to climb
 (alone; otherwise)
 
 with cancellations:
 the realization that
 love piques on these peaks
 

Make My Marade

annual Marade
 frosted with ice (years without)
 but now winter’s here–
 
 in Trump’s dark shadow
 we march for all we have lost,
 all there is to lose.
 
 we resist snowflakes
 that try and fail to stop us
 from the truth we seek
 
 we fight the good fight
 in songs, in signs, in speeches
 (and one day we’ll win)
 
 

Running Rabid

since the election,
 somehow my days have become
 a cataclysmic mix of mundane chores
 and tearing my hair out over
 what we’ve done to our democracy
 
 it’s the gut wrenching choice
 Travis must make as Riona and I
 grapple with Old Yeller-
 do I shoot my best friend
 or suffer the same fate?
 
 only—
 our fate is sealed, well after
 the roan bull has staggered onto our property… and Yeller?
 his last howl hovers over
 a hydrophobic nation
 
 God save us all.
 
 
 

Flushing

self-preservation
 often looks introverted;
 whatever it takes
 
 i need my mountains
 to save me from self pity
 that swallows me up
 
 and yet, there is hope:
 a Girl Scout troop, a book club…
 new horizons wait