Aftermath

One particular something about the Brussels bombings got under my skin especially, the way a poem begins. While trying to write it, I remembered writing this poem more than a decade ago.

Months Later, Madrid

A woman shakes awake in a cold sweat.
The song of sirens pulls her to that dawn,
her quick stop for the paper on the street
near Atocha on her way to the train.
The early traffic’s grinding barely hides
those echoes in her ears, the rip sharp and shrill.
Then she hears clearly the silence that spreads
across her kitchen floor, swallows her whole.
The quiet shadow she cannot run from
follows her. She turns on the tap, resigns
herself to the wet sound that fills the room,
dampens the faded words from blurred headlines,
and cleanses the imprints of what remains:
shoes, blood, the persistent thud in her veins.

 

(“Months Later, Madrid” was published in the anthology Limbs of the Pine, Peaks of the Range, Rose Alley Press.)