At twelve, she hasn't learned how to keen.
In this season where smoke and bodily debris
screen the sky's windy absence of rain,
women's voices ullulate lament
and lay mouths to kiss crumbs of earth
graves dug by old men and boys.
Aiming at the camera, bony-shouldered boys
flaunt rusting rifles, self-consciously keen
to go on record as soldiers, salt of the earth.
The girl sits motionless. Dooryard debris
between her and her father. Lament
echoes on the soundtrack. White sky, no rain.
Her print shawl bares unblinking eyes, rain
seeps over eyelids—for the boy
dragged off, their mother lamenting
running and shot by three men, a keening
cry held in air—body shrouded in debris
filling a hole in the earth.
Grist for the media's mill, earth
powders the lens in imitation of rain.
A three-legged camera, hand-held Debrie,
once filmed a travelogue of men and boys
on horseback. Hooded women, keen-
eyed with curiosity, reveal no lament.
This filmmaker is a woman who laments
how impotence seeds her native earth.
Her lens zooms over fields, her keen
sight reaps opium bloom of absent rain.
She climbs a mountain dressed as a boy
stumbles over abandoned debris
on smugglers' routes, wades stream debris
frostbitten, night blind, no time for lament,
driven to rescue that girl, that boy
whose eyes engrave hollows in stone earth,
hold them alive after liberation's rain
of bombs, or visit their graves to keen.
Keen edged swords for boys, lament
for girls. Where will the earth rest?
Exploding debris rains upward.