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Nothing falls from the sky to claim me.
These days, I am a bird with stones
in its beak, warbling an awful tune.

The news from beyond reaches me
always too late. What girl has fallen now,
off what coast, into what ocean or sea?

Wasn’t the water already filling with blood?
Hasn’t it always been so?
These days, I exchange the world

outside my window for one within. I close
my ears to that girl’s final cries, listening
instead to my own child, singing at play.

Somewhere a mother is facing a truth
she will have to rehearse daily to believe.
While the news clatters on,

the hem of her life will be snagged,
from here forward, in the moment a child
can’t find her way back home.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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