A broken rhyme from a broken line,
like a broken train of thought,
fragmented stream of consciousness stuttering along stop after stop after stop.
Like our broken humanity,
an unbroken, unchained melody sung
generation to generation to generation.
Broken words, broken vows, broken covenants, broken commandments spill over
Like broken walls wanting mending,
like Frost’s neighbor, making good neighbors.
Setting the wall between us once again
only to find it as capricious as our broken promises
stealing the unbroken plain and prairie,
breaking the backs of slave, native, immigrant and other.
Broken lives litter the streets
like cars broken down along the highway:
Like people broken down:
red-faced and wild-eyed helplessness.
Like the girl in the cemetery that day,
her teeth broken, bleeding and crying fiercely.
Her brother’s guilty panic searching for water,
repeating, ‘it’s not that bad, it’s not that bad.’
Like Jason’s broken arm.
Sitting in the doctor’s office,
loopy from pain meds telling me that he can hear the two pieces of his
humerus rubbing together.
Like broken tectonic plates
pushing and pulling like school yard bullies,
making weal and creating woe,
leaving streets and bridges and china cabinets tossed like broken toys in a
Like my grandmother’s broken ceramic Christmas tree,
shaken and stirred all the way from Pennsylvania.
The broken pieces still encrypted in the cardboard box it arrived in,
a box of broken emptiness and desolation.
Like the broken facades of our broken boyhood homes,
and later mine, too.
The appearance of allrightness,
the stigma of brokenness gone by then,
but the stigmata of brokenness remaining.
Like a body broken,
like blood shed for you and for many.
Like a broken spirit
the day Ginnie died
The choked words.
The broken thoughts and emotions.
The long days of long pauses and long shadows
and the terror of nothingness.
The broken ground yawning
like THAT day
when morning had broken,
like the first morning,
a broken stone rolled away from an empty tomb,
a broken body risen with resurrected purpose
for broken rhymes,
for broken worlds,
for broken walls and promises,
for broken cars and people,
for broken teeth and arms,
for broken homes, bodies and spirits.