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The Wall

By Grace Cavalieri

          The child stands weeping.
She holds uncooked rice in one hand waiting.
She's idealized into a picture
          for American Television.

The sirens sound. The child embraces the wall, presses
her lips against stone.

          A dog outside howls its
mortality. And that is all she hears before
the vision comes to mind of a mother
she once knew.

          The Book of Koran
lies open, naked, and torn in a broken house.
          The child cannot speak, and has
forgotten how language sounds.

Can she run across the open courtyard?
Someone may be there. Her dog? Where?
          Grandmother? Where? Rubble flies.
That was while she stood there clutching her rice
          in the origin of silence.

Added: Thursday, July 3, 2014  /  Used with permission.
Grace Cavalieri

Grace Cavalieri's newest book is WITH (Somondoco Press 2016). She's the author of several books and produced plays. The most recent play, "Anna Nicole: Blonde Glory." (Theatre for the New City, NYC 2012). She celebrates 39 years on public radio with "The Poet and The Poem" now recorded at The Library of Congress. Grace's career includes positions as a co-founder of WPFW-FM; after that, Assoc. Director for Children's Programming, PBS; and then a Senior Media Program Officer, NEH. She's the founder of two poetry presses in DC, still thriving, and is presently the poetry columnist for The Washington Independent Review of Books. Grace Cavalieri was awarded the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from WASH INDEP REVIEW. She received the George Garrett Award from AWP for Service to Literature, the Allen Ginsberg, Paterson Award, Bordighera and Columbia Poetry Awards, A Pen Fiction Award,  CPB's Silver Medal.

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