Speak for the Strangers

My activist friend sends me pictures
almost every day. The signal chirp
sends shock ripples through my mother

sloshing the amniotic tracery
that still coddles my secret organs
where bonding originates.

She cannot look at images of war,
of destruction, of refugees, won’t
watch any war films or the news.

They trigger her wailing memories
of family lost forever, of demeaning
things she did to survive, to get here.

Her horror lives in me, under my skin,
paralyzes my empathy like a butterfly
in amber opaque as concrete chunks.

At the demolition site I pass each day
the rocks in the rubble have faces
staring accusingly from rigid stone

from a time before cell phones.
I lean forward to speak for the strangers
not knowing who spoke for my own.

Vera Ignatowitsch loves poetry and has been writing poems for decades; however, she has only just begun to submit poems for publication. Her poetry has appeared in The Lyric, 2 anthologies, and in online publications. Read other articles by Vera.