Cast Lead

By Helen Aouad

Groups of gulls

holding fast to an old
sea while bangs undo their sky must ask themselves:
Wherefore is disaster new?
Sky—let’s look—is

 recoupable so lulling water lays to rest the time
            till swells swell back to what they were
paralleling drier blues above.

Glossing over depth

gets wet wings airborne
            homing inland plain white smoke weeds
            their gyral course higher

sharing air with winning tops

never mind which side the dreidels
           fall on—never mind day or night making room:
           Willie Peter spoiling twilight


dawns that hollow what was left of what
            was meted out square on  a lip of land looking west

though not about to

slip off just because near or far away
           networked lives in paltry atonement
           stop us asking how
a moral army’s oeuvre—

—set to print as such
           wouldn’t raise the stakes of justice for those
           faring afterwards who may never fare

as well as the gulls

– Helen Aouad is an English teacher living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She contributed this poem to

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