Lamentation #1--Oh Syria! Oh Syria!

In times of conflict, should we mourn beyond mere rhetoric?

*****

Where once my nephew, the child of my eastern brother,

ran,

where his laugh rose light like a lark song, there is now only the endless

procession of

magpies.

How deserted lies the city, once so full of people!*

Where once he knelt to pet a street dog--a mongrel mutt, my brother said-- only to have child cheeks

lapped

and affections loosed, now there are only

small, innocent

shrouds.

How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations!

The raging nations rush to take the high ground

occupied,

they say, by their gods, or their war birds, or

the last, most

nuanced tribes. Rhetorical sleight of tongue, they have forgotten the way of

mourning for

children.

She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave.

*****

*All italicized words from the biblical book of Lamentations, Chapter 1.