I hold My Daughter’s Hand, by Steven Croft

that the physician wiped clean of smoke
and dust and I think of the time of no war
so long ago, the trips in my brother’s car
to the quiet country stream by the olive trees.
My daughter, I cradled you after the meal until
your cries softened, then held you and looked
for your future in the quiet stream
I feel her hand has grown cold, but I will not
tell them.  Days, nights, days I prayed to Allah
for the bombs to stop.  Now I am exhausted.
Bombs shake the floor but I have no prayer
left, just this hand of my daughter I hold on to.
My daughter, I stare now at the quiet stream
where I will wash these wounds, by the trees
I will bury you in the peace of your beginning
I don’t want the busy attendant to stop so
I keep my head down, look at white bandages
stained with red that wrap your chest.  All
life I have left is holding this beautiful hand.
Steven Croft is the author of two chapbooks, Coastal Scenes and Moment and Time.  He has recent poems in Politics/ Letters LiveSky Island JournalAs It Ought to Be Magazine, and Poets Reading the News.

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