Our Work to Tally the Losses

Our sad work is to tally the losses
After each storm and flood we go through
In this republic of our grief that refuses
To leave us, in our homeland
And in each episode of our grand
Narrative of having been vanquished
For all time and in time that we
Have now seen this as our gods’ wishes.
We die a thousand times each time
We go through this but we cannot be alive
For too long to remember that this
Has been going on since we started
To believe in the alien and fair god of the those
Who came to announce his almighty power
In the heavens and among us small
Mortals of men from these islands
Of our aloneness before Time overtook
Our romance with dates and years.
Our act is plural, a noun too, after
A verb, that tells us of fear we need
To fight against, and the daring
We have to have to lead on and on
In this dizzying morass of our sense
Of selves, colonized and corrupting
As ever even if tragedies leave us
Wanting for more and more about
How lives, our stories woven in them,
Are to be lived out without the blood
And the ceremony of having it poured
On parched lands we till so the planting
Of food and the sowing of goodness can go on.
Overcast are the sacred skies even above
The old churches where the ancestors
Prayed for guidance and grace
And the slow, clean rain they gathered
In cupped hands, supplicating and
Supplicating some more for the other side
Of imprisonments we have come to believe
It is our gift from the penitent priests
Of our altar grounds we have turned into tombs
Where there we die but come to life again.

Hon, HI

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