A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Serbian men outside her house,
her cousins shot, her sister raped
repeatedly: the woman from Kosovo
told this story as she cupped a candle
to shield its fuddled flame. Elbow
to elbow, we bent, a flickering bank
of points. Our candles wavered, flared
in gusts off the Thames, our faces shadowed,
lit again. “Honk for Bosnia,”
said the signs as if commuting
Londoners, convinced, could change
Europe’s hands-off policy
with a sidelong glance and a toot.
Of Kosovo, then, the news was blank.
The world keeps writing its sad chapters.
We knew it then and there we stood,
trying to light our candles again
as Westminster turned, nearby, its floodlit
back, all lace-work stone and tracery.
And while some drivers honked and nodded,
we remained, all told, a foreign
gesture, blink on evening’s TV screen,
unreported, thus unseen,
impelled by what we’d heard to a bodied
show of speech. But who were we,
bent so doggedly against the breeze?
Copyright 2018 Sandy Solomon