First: Marian Kaplun Shapiro – Poem

Triage

Things exploding in the dark.

Volcanos. Power lines. Airplanes.  Bombs. Gas tanks.           At first
it’s hard to tell which is what and where. Later, why. When is easier. How
may not matter. Not at the time, anyway.

Found: A toddler, wailing, its hair whitened by
an avalanche of ceiling plaster. Her doll beheaded by an airborne rafter. Seen: One lone house, a silent (empty?) witness to the relentless path of lava. Discovered: A man dazed but conscious wandering in the cornfield, melted metal, plastic, chunks of glass surrounding him like body parts after an IED.

Look there! a cancer patient tethered to her iv, the hospital in ruins overhead. And there!
a firefighter, stunned but standing, burnt and blinded. Will he ever see again? No one knows. Somehow, a cat. A dog. Horses running wild with terror,  their barns aflame with dying. Stores. Restaurants. Warehouses. Schools. Churches. All gone.
Or mostly.

Things exploding in the dark.

Marriages. Lifelong friendships. Trust. Faith. Love.
What matters is to save the saveable. To know the difference. When
to try. And try. And try. When to give up. To sleep.   And when to try again.
If ever.

 

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Marian_orchid_blouseMarian Kaplun Shapiro is the author of a professional book, Second Childhood (Norton, 1988), a poetry book, Players In The Dream, Dreamers In The Play (Plain View Press, 2007) and two chapbooks: Your Third Wish, (Finishing Line, 2007); and The End Of The World, Announced On Wednesday (Pudding House, 2007). A Quaker and a psychologist, her poetry often embeds the topics of peace and violence by addressing one within the context of the other. A resident of Lexington, she is a five-time Senior Poet Laureate of Massachusetts. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2012.