Tamir Rice’s name wakes me at 3 am
followed by Jordan Edward’s name, followed by
Eric Garner’s last words: ’I can’t breathe’.
And so it begins, the requiem
that I carry inside my heart

that informs my body
the brown bodies they 
would harm.
Why would I stay calm?
Why would I stay silent?

I see that beautiful face of
Jordan Edwards in my mind,
he is leaving a party, the smart thing to do
when parties get out of hand.
I sent a condolence card to his highschool
and was surprised when in the mail a few weeks

later I received a cream colored
handwritten card from his family with their thanks.
The graciousness in that
made me weep.

The card is one of the few things that
sits on my altar,
next to a 65 million year old
ammonite fossil that reminds
me of deep time. Of things imprinted
that last. Justice is the
holiness that I worship,
and my church 
is on the streets,

with all the other


lost causes.

My grandson who is mixed race dark skinned African American, Pinoy, Native American, Irish, Italian, Portuguese, and Polish
was tackled by a policeman last
Friday night.
His memory is not clear what happened;


but he does remember
the policeman with his knee on his head
pressing his cheek into the cement.
His face is cut and swollen,
 but he is alive,
 he is alive.
My grandson is not a statistic
 but a struggling young man
 who longs to be a fireman,
 who passed his EMT course
 with an A, when
 school is not easy for him.
 I am a grandma, and my heart
 is a prayer wheel.
 Keep my family 
 safe, please.
 I don’t know 
 if I could

Yesterday, my cat brought in a dove,
and catching the bird with a towel,
the dove rested calm
between my hands.

I placed her in a box on the woodpile
outside, because she couldn’t fly,
as her wing lay askew.
In the morning, she was gone.

I was a dovekeeper left 
with a feather,

I am a prayer wheel
spun for all I cannot hold,

I am the dry ground
receiving the card of
writing from the clouds
with liquid ink

the million prayers 
that burn my skin…