after the news of the dead whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you —W. S. Merwin A blanket of fresh snow makes any neighborhood idyllic. Dearborn Heights indistinguishable from Baldwin Hills, South Central even— until a thawing happens and residents emerge into
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Stony trails of jagged beauty rise
like stretch marks streaking sand-hips.
All the Earth has borne beguiles us
& battered bodies build our acres.
Babes that sleep in hewn rock cradles
learn to bear the hardness coming.
Tough grace forged in tender bones—
may this serve & bless them well.
They grow & break grief into islands
of sun-baked stone submerged in salt
kisses, worn down by the ocean's ardor
relentless as any strong loving.
May they find caresses that abolish pain.
Like Earth, they brandish wounds of gold!