August 19, 1994

Desert scenes

For * and **

I hate what this world has done to you,
Children of the desert.
Deserted in your own home by those who should love and guide you.
A child of three tender years
A child of five bitter years
Children of the incompetent
Children in the dust
God save you. And God save us.

Tears flow like rain on the desert.
The sadness of those who don’t even know you
Does not know the depths of despair which will haunt those of us who do.
My August is bitter and bleak, when the middle of the month will bring you to mind all the days of my life.
Like a little girl from my past,
who died at the incompetent hands of her mother.
My sadness is like the fire of the hot ground
on the soles of unshorn feet.
God save you.
And God save us.

The little heart of a child should not know such darkness.
Perhaps you don’t.
But the tired heart of your elders carries the weight of your lost lives.
We are not responsible for you,
we who are sent to respond to you.
Or are we?
Your parents could not have foreseen this.
Or could they?
Your God could not save you.
Or did he?

Like the summer monsoon in the barren desert.
Our tears, both silent and weak, are for you.
Can tears and heavy thoughts be salvation?
I hate what this world has done to you, children of the bleak desert.
The children of the tender and the bitter years.
The children of my heart.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 08/17/2000

Easter at the Tram 2003

Gerry Avatar

5 responses to “August 19, 1994”

  1. JT O'Neill Avatar
    JT O’Neill

    “We are not responsible for you,
    we who are sent to respond to you.
    Or are we?”
    Yes, we are, aren’t we? Aren’t we responsible for fellow human beings, especially those unable to care for themselves?

  2. Mary S Avatar
    Mary S

    Or did he?

  3. Gerry Avatar

    Mary, “Or did he?” The children died. I posited that salvation for them was their departure from their living hell.

  4. […] god save you and god save us my strength is worn and weak in the face of all these burdens or, is my soul resilient to carrying on and carry the burden of my empathy my tears do flow in the mid August heat my heart aches as much now for her and for all those we, the helpers, could not save after the traumatic stress, as years go by, the events are remembered in the ghostly dim or a cessation of empathy 08/14/15 […]

  5. […] “For Damien and Twyla”)I hate what this world has done to you,Wanderers with no home.Deserted in your own community by […]

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