Lazarus in Aleppo, Syria

Lazarus stands in rubble from the quake
Passing buckets along the line. Concrete
Shards, broken walls, floors, ceilings cover the street
Where shoveled claws of hands and back hoes rake
Through debris left by Nature’s power in the wake
Of seismic waves that break the surface to shake
Foundations from fractured fault lines to mete
Out ruin in cities doomed by war and defeat.

He mumbles through memories bound by fear,
Etched on bones, flesh entombed when he lay dead
Four days. White helmets work in slim, tight space
Where life waits for breath and voice with an ear
For some miracle from the mounds that embed
Children (shadowed by death) hoping to see a face.

Kemmer Anderson walks his dog along the Trail of Tears in Chattanooga, Tennessee and has walked the streets of East Jerusalem in 1971, '83, 98, and 2015. Read other articles by Kemmer.