74,500 people die in an earthquake on October 8, 2005 in Pakistan. There are children buried under the weight of collapsed schools
“Village schools collapse, burying
children in earthquake rubble.” Ash and snow
shroud, delicate flakes
float into a stanza, black spots
on a patchwork snow.
Mothers in hijabs dig through debris, cut
tamarisk trees, cook water
and Biriani rice. (I am just trying—
in a daydream—to step gently
over dead bodies).
The injured and the old. How curious,
they smile when they see an American.
They share photos of their missing
children. If aid does not arrive soon,
they will become winter’s buried angels.
They are like us, their muse
speaks to them about pain,
in words now written in the snow.
Now the word disappears.
(Published in SD Writer’s Ink Anthology)