We do not in our country
niche you at corners,
crossroads, highway shrines.
But in Karen’s face as she talks of her son
whose pain will not redeem the world;
as Marguerita, whose eldest will not
survive her; in Sylvie, whose child
learned all his letters in his second year
and by age four had been condemned
to mute incomprehension,
mother of mothers,
we know we cannot be spared;
help us bear our sorrows
and the sorrows of our children.
Help us bear.