In a year of horrors of which no one needs particulars
that might nudge the loss, grief, fear, and pain up
from the shallow graves of memory like knobby
leg bones after too much rain,
we are plunged into the heretical sea of duality,
in which the ceaseless love of the Holy One is paired
not with its opposite but its absence; grace to graceless,
blessing to indifference.
All is salt; tears shed and wounds abraded, tongues
blistered on the draft of goodbyes unsaid, while the
conjoined twins, Doldrum and Maelstrom, reel above
splintered keels of capsized dreams.
Who is the Jonah with his duffle of sin, that brought this
godless wrath upon us? Whom shall we pitch to the deep
in our stead, to wedge between the gnashing jaws
lest they snap shut upon us?
Look to the eyes of all for the flickers of guilt and virtue,
especially our own, then raise the howl of contrition
for the clay-footed idols we’ve made, every
one of them shod in our shoes.
©Dana Hughes 12.28.20