Our Babies Too

How do I grind coffee, spoon heaping scoops into the basket, fill the reservoir with crystal clear water, press the red button green?

While the babies cry.

Brene Brown said her pediatrician husband knows every kind of baby cry. He recognizes these cries as terror and trauma. She implores. I cry.

How can I clear breakfast plates, dress for work, answer calls?

While the babies cry.

How do we sleep when tears flow and helpless anguish rings from every grandmother I know?

While the babies cry.

Today an aching heart and pounding head is my morning routine.

My family’s babies are healthy and happy and held tight in their mothers’ heartsick empathy.

The baby girl is already six months old and today is the day she could crawl.

The three year old big sister hides in a sofa tent with her favorite book, teetering in the precipice of reading.

Our constant motion 6 year old charges through life with vigor, determination and astounding beauty.

The three year old spider man knows the civilian name for every superhero. He sleeps each night in his spider man pjs.

This four year old floats in goggles and water wings in the new summer sun.

Our eight year old loves necklaces and shiny jewel boxes.

My family’s babies are safe in loving homes with parents who watch them sleep and cry for the infants in baby jails.

We all sob for the wailing infants in baby jails. How can we even say those words? Baby jails.

So we’ll call and march and write and rail against the hate and tyranny.

Beautiful brown babies are our babies too.

These babies crawl, read, run, dream, float, and dress up too.

The suffering of their mothers’ empty arms is ours.

We must save our babies.

If Our Hearts Harden

Halfway through the day I sit in pajamas with a lead heavy heart.
I wonder if a hike with my camera (my escape, my joy) will help.
But the leaves are all gone.
The landscape is as gray and sad as I am.
What beauty can I capture today while I’m hollow and empty?
I glance at the news with a dizzy aching head.
Then I read splendid, gracious responses by generous
Souls hoping for nothing more than for love to prevail
In our chaotic world where, again, hate has boiled over
Washing away innocent lives in rhythmic waves
Never ending in their cataclysmic destruction.
Unfortunately, sorrowfully, we are experienced mourners.
We have learned that the black ache of
Stunned horror and disbelief will fade
Allowing peeks of light to infiltrate and eventually brighten.
But permanent scars linger.
Can a repeatedly broken heart escape
The impulse for self-preservation?
If our hearts harden, we’ll be lost.