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Prelude


ISSUE:  Summer 2010
Standing alone in a gathering of people outdoors, a teenaged boy wears a black, hooded sweatshirt, the hood up over his head. He looks straight ahead and up a little, with an intensity to his gaze. Behind him, the crowd is obscured by what appears to be smoke.

Andre, what have you given me
with these scattered ashes
that fall lightly on my shoulders?

I am afraid to look into these eyes,
I want the boy to pull his hood closer
so that I do not have to answer

the stoning of questions that have
no answers. You have given
me light and color, the pulse

of bodies still living and the mask
of the dead. I have no songs
to sing, just the mumblings

of a witness who has known
the pain of hopelessness
and the balm of the redeemed.

It is all I have to offer,
my fingers gray with ashes.

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