“Useless Sonnet for Gaza”–My Final Tupelo Press 30/30 Poem

by holdingbreathmemoir

Today is the final day of my participation in the Tupelo Press 30/30 fundraising project, during which I wrote thirty poems in thirty days. To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to pull it off, but once I found a rhythm it became quite easy, and I may even have written some pretty good poems along the way.

For my final poem, I decided to get ambitious and try to write a sonnet for the first time in thirty (the magic number, it seems) years. And what’s been happening in Gaza has been at the forefront of my mind. So here it is:

Useless Sonnet for Gaza

Rest in pools at brink of Sunday. It’s out
of frame, the network of indignities:
curbs where frightened mothers sit, blinded city’s
quail, scattered children quiet, open-mouthed.
(They ate the wrong religion.) Room for doubt:
scenes can be erased (news about the mercies)
in open season. (See–they don’t want peace.)
Prayer broken by the better beast. Allowed.
Weight of all the shoes they left outside. Weight
of skin returned to dust a thousand times.
Weight of metal, wire. Weight of broken stone.
Weight of indifference: it is too late.

Hot here. Quiet. I offer you these lines.
(Hard to hear them when the flesh betrays the bone.)