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Friday, February 21, 2014


by Rick Gray

Image source: The Telegraph

He hides under the spitting rage of barrel bombs
Thundering below another’s day’s bolting attack.
Buried in the dark basement below his broken home
He vows to its ghosts he’s never coming back.  

It’s always Miriam, his sly sister, or Mohamed, a reckless brother,
Too hungry to fake dreams anymore,
Who creak on naked feet around the booby traps
Down the twisted stairway into the hum of a shattered kitchen.

In darkness he learns to hear
the miracle of an empty bowl filled,
and the holy whisper of long-life milk over looted cereal
before mercy comes crackling through his bitter spells.

Rick Gray has work currently appearing in Salamander and has an essay forthcoming in the book, Neither Here Nor There: An Anthology of Reverse Culture Shock. He served in the Peace Corps in Kenya and teaches in Kabul, Afghanistan.