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The wind ruffles a blue windsock,

slowly—it gathers the courage


to kill.  I do not know

the nameless man, loved by God,

whose wife will die in the storm.

Where is the mercy?  The stars

do not console the wounded,

nor the sandman the young.


The hills?

The rocks?


Why, even the storm invites our trust.


Are we a people

apart from the fury?


Today I walked around a patch of violets,

planted together in the yard,

tranquil, beside the rocky path

where their purple belongs.  Perhaps

the flowers felt the peace.


I do not know.


Perhaps there was one, off to the side,

that I did not see.

for Alton B. Pollard, III 


Rustling leaves welcome the breezes,

but tree trunks remain silent.

I recognize the cry of an owl,   

not the scuffling:  that I cannot explain—


nor Jesus in Alton’s face. 

Both.  Shining.  From the dark.

It is not the day that holds the fire—

nor is there consolation in moonlight,


but rather: where time and place

don’t seem to matter,

nor the colors of skin,

falsely bleached by the bright sun


into a feigned harmony,

’til I’ve forgotten if it is hue or tone

of which we vainly speak.  Yes,

the night embellished as it deepened,


enhancing, as the night will do,

that which by day remains shadow.

I know what I saw in the upper room:

what cloaked me in gooseflesh—


and beckons gently now.