Twelve Fifty-Seven

I do not know if it matters
if the Army uses artillery or bulldozers
to destroy houses.

Arms lift suitcases
stuffed with clothes and personal items
in a reassessment of value.

One way or another, at sunrise
prayer is called for
and rituals engage to calm nerves.

Dust from the destruction
hangs in the air like a toxic gas
that eats stability and morale.

If the Army cleared the land
so crops grew among the ghost houses
without tangling bones

I would not require this asylum
helplessly trying to make sense
of the senseless.

We stopped counting steps
at twelve hundred and fifty-seven.
We walked until night closed the day.

We slept that night under trees
that housed mourning doves.
They shat on us when they took flight.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney