Kaddish for Aylan

I’ll say Kaddish in silence
reminiscent of islands
scorched by the sun
where your lifeless body lays
face down in the surf
red shirt limp on your back
I’ll say Kaddish in memory
of the last time you laughed
I’ll say Kaddish and weep
for your brother and mother
and for all who drown
when seas do not part

I will open my ears
to throbbing piercing excruciating cries
of parents burying their children
children mourning their parents
lives made in the image of a silent god

lives to be respected
treasured in all their messy splendor
chaotic lives that shout Here I Am
while trampled crushed obliterated

ignored by the righteous
in their house of prayer
have you forgotten
your slain ancestors your wanderings your exiles
we were all strangers in the land of Egypt

I’ll say Kaddish with a growl in my voice
shake inertia weariness lassitude
I‘ll face my shame shout my furor
curse apathy laziness cowardice
hurl accusations denounce murder
by the powerful and their gods of greed
by the well-meaning and their gods of comfort

it shall not be a still small voice
it cannot be a still small voice

it must join with others gather strength
grow to a roar fill the world with thunder
until fear is defeated indifference banished
communities restored

then there will be peace
among us and among the nations

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