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There’s been an explosion, but there is no bomb

Shell-shocked.
I’m flattened,
literally, thrown to the ground
by the hand grenades being heaved in my land.

There’s been a bombing,
but there’s no shrapnel,
no visible debris,
just many, many injuries.

Bodies strewn everywhere,
writhing in pain.
Bandaging their wounds,
wrapping their torn limbs.
Some, sitting motionless on the cement,
with hands pressed to their ears,
cry, “Make it stop”
“Make it stop”

Can anyone see them?
I stumble and fall,
gashing my leg on the rocks,
fording the rubble,
trying to reach them.

Does anyone hear them?
Yelling! Screaming! Crying!
It doesn’t stop.
Oh, blessed silence,
where are you?
I would listen if you came.

I would read and listen,
for information, not ammunition.

I would ask and listen,
be inquisitive, not an inquisition.

I would speak and listen,
to those with whom I agree,
and to those with whom I differ.

I would seek out and listen,
for those with little life experience,
and those with much.

I would meet and listen,
face to face and full of attention,
delving for meaning, certain of purpose.

What is the world making of us?
that we have forgotten
how to listen to each other and
become numb to ourselves?

We are meant to make of this world!
to be creative forces
using our hands to hold and our hearts to unfold,
applying ourselves to build,
something of each other.

There’s been a bombing but no explosion.
The ringing in my ears
is the sound of deafening,
the tearing limb from limb
of innocent souls.

Dare we feel it deeply?
Let it hurt us enough
to make it stop?

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