We buried the dead for months and months, and we mourned and wept and waited for it pass. Some prayed and some railed. Some burned and some stole. Some legislated and some pressed on. Some died and some lived. Some shouted into the dark, and some escaped the flames. Everyone’s hair was singed. Everyone looked for someone to blame, but they told us never mind it was bad from the start.
We tried to come back—to live again, but the divide grew and threatened to split us apart. We stood with one foot on different continents in our own hometowns. The shifting societal norms made us stand crooked; and rising to walk, we limped. We limped forward and fell backward.
This morning I watched the widows weep and saw the fatherless children lean into their mothers’ scant shadows. There is a place lower than the grave that screams for justice.
I’m shackled there hoping to plane the land square. I’m a prisoner of hope—remembering a covenant cut from blood of painful price and scarred beauty. It’s lower and darker than this, and it’s story is uglier for the just unjustly justified.
When everything around me says no in striking black-and-white, a death-defying ray of yellow hope pierces the night to say yes, yes, yes.
©️Bonnie Saul Wilks