A Father Who Had Just Lost Hope

When you heard the news that they had found her body
I saw your soul break
Down you fell onto the dark, cold gravel-
as if to imply that you would rather be the one
being put into the ground than the one lying in the black body bag
A crowd surrounded you to try to console you,
but none of those hands were the ones that you needed
The little girl who was made from your own seed and who grew
in the womb of her mother
in the house you grew up in
in the land of our fathers
was gone
Thrown out of a moving car like the Sunday garbage
pulled out of your embrace by the boy who always
looked at you sideways, the one you always
warned her to be careful with-
I watched you pound the earth with your fists,
as if the beat would somehow make its way
back into your daughter's heart,
as if the blood from the cuts would pay tribute to the gods
and grant life
back into those tiny lungs

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