If Basho were here today,
in this America, at this time,
stop briefly and consider what
he might write, how he would
describe the faces of parents
mourning children gunned down
in random urban violence,
the asylum seeker, praying
at the border for entry, for hope,
the homeless woman curled
in a ball in her cardboard home
in an alley no one visits, no one
sees even in the full light of day,
the school children practicing
active shooter drills, while
learning to recite the alphabet.
sitting zazen, I
see one thousand cranes crying.
Their river bathes me.
Early this afternoon, a Kenworth
semi pulling a 53-foot trailer
rolled down Nebraska route 92
and entered the limits of Broken Bow.
The importance of this event,
while not yet obvious, will, I
promise, become so soon enough
if you only remain patient.
As this was happening, rockets
launched from Gaza rained down
on Israel, and quickly the IDF jets
responded, killing 19, more
than half of those civilians according
to Palestinian authorities, but no one
was terribly surprised, as it had
became a question of when not if.
Peace is, we have learned, that
Holy Grail, denied to those who want it
but will not sacrifice themselves
or concede egos to try to attain it.
The semi pulled in behind the Dollar
General on South E Street, too late
to offload, and the driver walked
over to the Bonfire Grill for a beer.
Lou Faber’s work has previously appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Rattle, Eureka Literary Magazine, Borderlands: the Texas Poetry Review, Midnight Mind, Pearl, Midstream, European Judaism, Greens Magazine, The Amethyst Review, Afterthoughts, The South Carolina Review, and Worcester Review, among many others, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.