Silence

The word is silent.
It has been a bad year:
new house, expensive problems,
workmen cause as many as they solve.

Snow sits thick outside.
It is tough for the birds:
birdfood, fatballs, hard with ice,
magpies wait to eat the ones that die.

I can hardly write.
It has been a bad year:
days numb into weeks and months,
prayers that I cannot pray, unanswered.

In Eastern Ghouta:
Jobar, Zamalka,
it has been a bad year.
Hamouria, Saqba,
it has been a bad year.
Kafr Batna, Douma,
it has been a bad year.

The birds and I weep,
it has been a bad year.
In the Eastern Ghouta,
of Damascus, where Paul regained his sight,
people die in hundreds every week,
war, starvation, disease and choking grief.

No words, the birds and I.
The word is silent.

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