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Saturday, June 05, 2021


by Steven Croft

Hammers echo now from the rebuilding of houses,
pounding at my heart as I carry tea to the patio, stare
down at the tiles you laid. Tear-filled eyes raise—
who moves through the terraced almond trees on the hill,
their clouds of white flowers? Alas, it is only today's dream.
If Allah allows, may you one day walk into this daily dream
of your return. You were no terrorist, only a man
who loved the warmth of the land, wheat and barley,
the green joy of lettuce. When the planes bombed the fields
you ran to the town square to tell the protesters. Then,
the security men knocked at the door, and I kneeled before God,
but they dragged you out while my heart stopped.

Now, I wait in bed for the creak of our door, a call, again,
from the kitchen that you are leaving for the fields, anything
to bring you back into existence. My soul is a leaden weight.
Our country is a corpse. How can hammers sound? How can hope
trouble us anymore? Let our dead hearts rot. Just let our loneliness,
like the bombs' fires, burn us away.

Steven Croft lives on a barrier island off the coast of Georgia. He is the author of New World Poems (Alien Buddha Press, 2020). His poems have appeared in Willawaw Journal, San Pedro River Review, The New Verse News, North of Oxford, Anti-Heroin Chic, and other places, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.