In the absence of light we call night
my children fall into the trusted dreams of tooth fairies and twirling ballerinas
and through the sizzling silence
I hear God crying.
The tears are not kosher, nor halal, nor salty, nor of the cross.
Pharaoh killed Hebrews’ first born sons.
Droplets dauntingly drizzle,
mixing with the cries of baby Moses.
One basinet cast into a flowing river,
A nation arose and walked with God.
Miriam sang a new song.
For the sake of children,
not for piety,
not for goodness,
not for the merit of mothers and fathers,
only for the sake of children,
a covenant was made, a Whisper uttered.
While my children play hopscotch with hippos,
captivating cows jumping over the moon,
I turn, in turmoil’s oil.
Inside my head, immune to closing my lids,
images roll, stubbornly, slowly, sequentially.
Yazidi girls raped in front of parents.
Bahai boys beheaded in my homeland.
Pakistani babies left to die of starvation.
Hindu boys forced to convert, forcefully killed.
Muslim babies married, then murdered.
Christian girls passed around like handkerchiefs, half-alive buried.
I am powerless.
What do I tell my children in the morning?
Still, I hear a voice in between the tears.
Save but one child,
I will deliver a leader from the running red river.
A nation shall walk again.
And in the morn, all children will play,
Wiping God’s tears.