the winds bereft by Debra Webb Roberts

Wayward whispers fall here like old leaves,
remembering last autumn’s collapse,
how cries to Allah, skyward sent,
entreaties in the face of Death,
evaporate in dust
While in another winter’s cruel
clutch a brutal chill invades, again,
while city sleeps in ravaged hold
to edicts of of impatient graves

With rapt attentativeness I pause,
strain the yearning ear toward flaws
– world of joy comes interrupted by
one cruel twist – to listen for the voices
caught in cried refrains
Again, again, so many words
of tears and lamentation, spun
into the skies as invocations, imploring
to their God who seems forgetting
sand and dust, as dervishes are whipped
about and flames of hell invade the strangled
lungs – sad tongues fallen silent
and forever stilled
But, oh! the words, so many words
and more than i can count, stirred
among the stars, adrift as listless clouds
come calling, waiting here to rain

My station here, to sit as witness
to their crash, while young ones fall from
broken, their familial branch too stained,
their skinned knee sobs, their rasping throbs
proclaim again bruised pride
How tenderly I’d hoped to grasp their pains,
lament with them the detonated bomb,
and leveled plane of landscapes once called home
From here I cannot rescue, nor reach
so far to clutch and hold, though heart
does stir within that I could sweep them
up, restore

And here, again, the fallen voice,
the cries of children’s mothers
relinquishing reliefs, their prayers
in repetitious echoes tossed into
the skies, where children cry, forever
children cry

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