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Monday, May 25, 2015

For the Nepali people


For the Nepali people she is sitting, thinking
Of what it must be when land turns to water,
Rolling waves shrugging off millions of hand-laid bricks.

This is impossible to grasp, yet many have lived it,
Here and in many places, many times.
Even she has felt it, feared it, wondered at it, but

Never like that. All her people have died old.
Eating her hot soup, sitting in her chair, she mouths
Prayers she knows are empty, vaguely knowing
Alms are the thing she'd want if she were in
Like case. Where to send? Bureaucrats pilfer with
Impunity, and pallets of tarps lie still on tarmac.

Perhaps she knows a man here, or woman there,
Eking out space amid the piles that were their homes,
Or digging up smashed rice bags to cook for strangers.
Perhaps she could send them something. She won't
Lie; it's not easy for her to talk to banks -- makes mistakes.
Even so, it's now or never to learn to do one thing.

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