What is the one
against the multitudes,
myriads of those who fall
innocent but for the crime,
the wound of unasked life,
unchosen ethnicity?
No matter the appellation,
unimportant; determinative
only by the time,
the place unchosen
when rage erupts
from its lair of pain,
flaying wildly against the confines
of secondary categories.

Enmity continues
entrenched in generations
grown twisted,
lost before birth
to chaos of conflict.
Air polluted from first breath,
poisoned by hate’s insidious miasma
lying low
like early morning fog
rising from warmed earth.
There is no sun
to burn thickening mists
bloated by violence
spewed from yesterday’s world.

The one,
within the multitude,
is ever to be treasured,
celebrated in life,
mourned in death.
Death of one
is a piercing arrow pain
experienced acutely,
shocking in its potency.
The multitude
is beyond comprehension.
One alone does know this pain
bears it yet in the still open wounds
beyond resurrection.


By Lisa Loden