United States

“From dust you came and to dust you now return.”

A mound of earth sifts through the preacher’s hand

Small rocks break free, hitting the coffin’s lid

With pops like tiny bullets

That ended the young boy’s life three days before

The preacher turns to leave and brushes the dust off his hands

Seven years of life form a small cloud at his knee and settle back into the earth

“Fill ‘er up, bartender.  When I die, put me in an hourglass so all will know it’s happy hour.”

A young girl sits on the playground, forming hearts in the sandbox

A police officer asks here where her daddy is

“Drinking with his friends so he can be an hourglass”

A jagged line forms through the her final sand heart as she’d led away

A teenage boy lugs a duffel bag to his sixth foster home

Counting the hours until he turns 18

When he will finally be free

He knows this placement won’t last long enough for the dust to settle

But plenty enough time for it to fly in his face

As classmates in each new school toss him around like a rag doll

This is his temporary home

A young woman screams as the side of her face is bruised

With the blow of one who claimed he would cherish her forever

He swore he would change.  It was a one- time thing.  He just got mad

That was three years, two hospital stays and one lost pregnancy ago

Now, finally, broken and bleeding she sneaks away

Her tires squealing in the moonlight and kicking up dust

She passes an ambulance with its lights flashing and siren wailing

The cry of a mother who will never see her child alive again

Killed in the street, his life slipping through her fingers like dust

The preacher is called to perform the funeral

He sits in the quiet church before the service

Holding an hourglass in his hand

As he watches the last grains run out finally he sees

It’s not just where we came from.  It’s not where we return.

Our whole lives we are all





This poem is about: 
Our world


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