In the Light: A Lament

[Image description: Bare branches in front of a bright, cloudy sky]

‘In the Light: A Lament’

In the light of mourning,
Sorting out which mundane things matter infinitely,

and which matters of past importance to set aside forever
as time stretches out for some,
past another’s time,
cut short.

The unfairness pierces,

Different realities
crafted to drive a wedge.

Some of us believing
nurses and clinicians,
experts and those bereaved,
imperfectly trying to do our part.
Some of us unmask
our refusal to be inconvenienced
for the sake of others,
spreading falsehoods that kill.

Who gains when only some mourn the dead                               
and see the weary eyes of those providing care
for wave after wave after wave?

Which day do we designate for a day of mourning
when thousands die every day
and only some of us believe it didn’t have to be this way?

Will we ever grieve collectively
the emptying seats
in pews,
break rooms,
nurses stations,
around dinner tables?

300,000 and counting.

When we fail to mourn together
the lives lost to global tragedy
because we can’t agree
it is a tragedy here,
the wound grows unchecked.

We need the searing light
of mourning,
need to allow it to shatter our hearts
for the grief-stricken,
the PPE-clothed witnesses,
the ones no longer here.

But instead of holding vigil,
we carry on like all is well
or we withdraw completely
or we deny
or blame
or fling outward an endless volley of hate.

None of which will heal
or soothe
or bring back a single person lost.
We must find it in our hearts to grieve
for the year,
for our children,
for ourselves,
and especially
for loved ones taken,
and those they were taken from.

In the light of mourning,
As we see, bear witness, pay tribute,
our hearts ache, open, and
compassion can break through.

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