I follow my eyes to the hills
and the swallows spelling words
in the air. No more than
twenty miles that way
is the sea: we are in a sleeve
of land between two worlds.
Here it is Spring. The girls move
easily through the woods,
they were born in this well of light,
but at night we watch a digger
shoving the cheap coffins
of the countless dead
into a builder’s trench, the poor,
the dispossessed, the loveless.
Drone high in a dank New York
afternoon we are staring
once more down the cuff
of history to the bone beneath.
Eritrea, Darfur, Elmhurst Hospital.
A tide of negligence and cruelty
too high and ageless to resist.
We switch the TV off, drink tea.
Tomorrow the anemone will shine
like tiny stars. The birds have always
sung at Auschwitz.