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DUFFY, Carol Ann

Shooting Stars

After I no longer speak they break our fingers                                    

to salvage my wedding ring. Rebecca Rachel Ruth

Aaron Emmanuel David, stars on all our brows

beneath the gaze of men with guns. Mourn for the daughters,

upright as statues, brave. You would not look at me.                              

You waited for the bullet. Fell. I say, Remember.

Remember these appalling days which make the world

Forever bad. One saw I was alive. Loosened

his belt. My bowels opened in a ragged gape of fear.

Between the gap of corpses I could see a child.                                    

The soldiers laughed. Only a matter of days separate

this from acts of torture now. They shot her in the eye.

How would you prepare to die, on a perfect April evening

with young men gossiping and smoking by the graves?

My bare feet felt the earth and urine trickled                                     

Down my legs until I heard the click. Not yet. A trick.

After immense suffering someone takes tea on the lawn.

After the terrible moans a boy washes his uniform.

After the history lesson children run to their toys the world

turns in its sleep the spades shovel soil Sara Ezra …                   

Sister, if seas part us, do you not consider me?

Tell them I sang the ancient psalms at dusk

inside the wire and strong men wept. Turn thee

unto me with mercy, for I am desolate and lost.