holy all these our victims
of wormwood, drought and ring of fire –
holy their cries of shock,
holy their fear and the loosening of their bowels in fear,
holy their dread,
and their convictions melted down in doubt.
holy the process of their good bones breaking,
their good flesh prodded, poisoned, drowned,
their beautiful eyes engraved with images
to drive their minds to madness.
holy their sorrow that lasts as long
as shadows run before the sun,
holy their slight recoveries, a smile returned,
a moment free of strain,
holy the therapists who reach out,
teach them to dare to move,
who can bear to hear black dreams,
the sudden flaring hate they hate.
holy the old one who uses what he has to bring help,
holy those hearts that see and hear and read these things
and feel afraid themselves,
and curse that they have not the power to help,
have not the knowledge to prevent,
holy all those who suffer in this unholy time,
all those who suffer for the ones in pain,
unholy the ones who set all suffering aside.
evil the ones who have the power
and do not use it for relief,
condemned the ones who use a single person’s
suffering for gain,
condemned and cursed all those whose actions
hurt and destroy a single living soul.